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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jul;16(7):1573-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.252. Epub 2008 May 1.

Inflammatory response to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate weight loss diet: effect of antioxidants.

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Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.


The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the inflammatory response to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate weight loss diet (HF) we previously observed was due to oxidative stress. Nineteen overweight subjects (BMI>27 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to either an antioxidant supplement (AS) (1 g vitamin C/800 IU vitamin E) or a placebo (P) group and provided with a HF for 7 days. Fasted pre- and post serum samples were measured for markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), and glucose, whereas urine was measured for oxidative stress (8-epi-prostaglandin-F(2alpha) (8-epi)). HF resulted in significant reductions in weight (-3.2%), glucose (-18.7%), and MCP-1 (-15%) (all P<0.01), with no difference between groups. There was a trend for a differential effect between groups for CRP as it decreased 32% in the AS group but increased 50% for P (P=0.076). Inverse correlations were noted between initial values and changes in several inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, including CRP (r= -0.501), 8-epi (r= -0.863), and ORAC (r= -0.546) (all P<0.05). It was concluded that weight loss on a short-term HF caused reduction of some but not all markers of inflammation. A role for oxidative stress in causing inflammation was not confirmed; however, longer term diet-controlled studies are necessary to further explore the trend for a differential response in CRP with antioxidant supplementation.

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