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Obes Res. 2004 Jun;12(6):972-81.

The effect of CYP19 and COMT polymorphisms on exercise-induced fat loss in postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To examine whether genetic polymorphisms in CYP19 [intron 4 (TTTA)n; n = 7 to 13 and a 3-base pair deletion, which is in strong linkage disequilibrium with the seven repeat] and COMT (Val108/158Met) modified the change in BMI, total and percentage body fat, or subcutaneous and intra-abdominal fat during a year-long exercise intervention trial. These genes metabolize estrogens and androgens, which are important in body fat regulation.


A randomized intervention trial was used, with an intervention goal of 225 min/wk of moderate-intensity exercise for one year. Participants (n = 173) were postmenopausal, 50 to 75 years old, sedentary, overweight or obese, and not taking hormone therapy at baseline.


Exercisers with two vs. no CYP19 11-repeat alleles had a larger decrease in total fat (-3.1 kg vs. -0.5 kg, respectively, p = 0.01) and percentage body fat (-2.4% vs. -0.6%, respectively, p = 0.001). Exercisers with the COMT Met/Met vs. Val/Val genotype had a smaller decrease in percentage fat (-0.7% vs. -1.9%, respectively, p = 0.05). Among exercisers, women with the COMT Val/Val genotype and at least one copy of the CYP19 11-repeat allele vs. those with neither genotype/allele had a significantly larger decrease in BMI (-1.0 vs. +0.1 kg/m2, respectively, p = 0.009), total fat (-2.9 vs. -0.5 kg, respectively, p = 0.004), and percentage body fat (-2.6% vs. -0.4%, respectively, p < 0.001).


Genetic polymorphisms in CYP19 and COMT may be important for body fat regulation and possibly modify the effect of exercise on fat loss in postmenopausal women.

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