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Syst Biol Reprod Med. 2016 Aug;62(4):283-9. doi: 10.1080/19396368.2016.1177619. Epub 2016 May 18.

The impact of supervised weight loss and intentional weight regain on sex hormone binding globulin and testosterone in premenopausal women.

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a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , University of Missouri , Columbia , Missouri , USA.
b Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology , University of Missouri , Columbia , Missouri , USA.
c Office of Medical Research, University of Missouri , Columbia , Missouri , USA.
d Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , University of Colorado , Denver , Colorado , USA.


What is the impact of intentional weight loss and regain on serum androgens in women? We conducted an ancillary analysis of prospectively collected samples from a randomized controlled trial. The trial involved supervised 10% weight loss (8.5 kg on average) with diet and exercise over 4-6 months followed by supervised intentional regain of 50% of the lost weight (4.6 kg on average) over 4-6 months. Participants were randomized prior to the partial weight regain component to either continuation or cessation of endurance exercise. Analytic sample included 30 obese premenopausal women (mean age of 40 ± 5.9 years, mean baseline body mass index (BMI) of 32.9 ± 4.2 kg/m(2)) with metabolic syndrome. We evaluated sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), total testosterone (T), free androgen index (FAI), and high molecular weight adiponectin (HMWAdp). Insulin, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measured in the original trial were reanalyzed for the current analytic sample. Insulin, HOMA, and QUICKI improved with weight loss and were maintained despite weight regain. Log-transformed SHBG significantly increased from baseline to weight loss, and then significantly decreased with weight regain. LogFAI and logVAT decreased similarly and increased with weight loss followed by weight regain. No changes were found in logT and LogHMWAdp. There was no significant difference in any tested parameters by exercise between the groups. SHBG showed prominent sensitivity to body mass fluctuations, as reduction with controlled intentional weight regain showed an inverse relationship to VAT and occurred despite stable HMWAdp and sustained improvements with insulin resistance. FAI showed opposite changes to SHBG, while T did not change significantly with weight. Continued exercise during weight regain did not appear to impact these findings.


Free androgen index; sex hormone binding globulin; testosterone; weight regain

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