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Clin Obes. 2015 Apr;5(2):79-86. doi: 10.1111/cob.12086. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Effect of a 4-week weight maintenance diet on circulating hormone levels: implications for clinical weight loss trials.

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The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia; Neuroscience Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Australia.


The majority of weight loss studies fail to standardize conditions such as diet and exercise via a weight maintenance period prior to commencement of the trial. This study aimed to determine whether a weight stabilization period is necessary to establish stable baseline hormone concentrations. Fifty-one obese male participants with a body mass index of 30-40 kg m(-2) and aged 25-54 years underwent 4 weeks on an energy balance diet that was designed to achieve weight stability. Blood samples were collected in the fasting state at commencement and completion of the 4-week period, and circulating concentrations of 18 commonly measured hormones were determined. During the 4-week weight maintenance period, participants achieved weight stability within -1.5 ± 0.2 kg (-1.4 ± 0.2%) of their initial body weight. Significant reductions in serum insulin (by 18 ± 6.5%) and leptin (by 21 ± 6.0%) levels occurred, but no significant changes were observed for gut-derived appetite-regulating hormones (ghrelin and peptide YY), nor thyroid, adrenal, gonadal or somatotropic hormones. There were no significant correlations between the change in body weight and the change in circulating concentrations of insulin or leptin over the 4-week period, indicating that the observed changes were not due to weight loss, albeit significant negative correlations were observed between the changes in body weight and plasma ghrelin and peptide YY levels. This study demonstrates the need for baseline weight maintenance periods to stabilize serum levels of insulin and leptin in studies specifically investigating effects on these parameters in the obese. However, this does not apply to circulating levels of gut-derived appetite-regulating hormones (ghrelin and peptide YY), nor thyroid, adrenal, gonadal or somatotropic hormones.


Hormones; obesity; randomized controlled trial; run-in periods

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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