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Concept: Adipose tissue


Chronic cortisol exposure is hypothesized to contribute to obesity. This study examined associations between hair cortisol concentrations, a novel indicator of long-term cortisol exposure, and adiposity in a large population-based sample.

Concepts: Obesity, Adipose tissue


Weight discrimination is prevalent in American society. Although associated consistently with psychological and economic outcomes, less is known about whether weight discrimination is associated with longitudinal changes in obesity. The objectives of this research are (1) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of becoming obese (Body Mass Index≥30; BMI) by follow-up among those not obese at baseline, and (2) to test whether weight discrimination is associated with risk of remaining obese at follow-up among those already obese at baseline. Participants were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of community-dwelling US residents. A total of 6,157 participants (58.6% female) completed the discrimination measure and had weight and height available from the 2006 and 2010 assessments. Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.58-4.08) and participants who were obese at baseline were three times more likely to remain obese at follow up (OR = 3.20, 95% CI = 2.06-4.97) than those who had not experienced such discrimination. These effects held when controlling for demographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, education) and when baseline BMI was included as a covariate. These effects were also specific to weight discrimination; other forms of discrimination (e.g., sex, race) were unrelated to risk of obesity at follow-up. The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity.

Concepts: Psychology, Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, Weight loss, Bariatric surgery


High-protein (HP) intake during weight loss (WL) therapy is often recommended because it reduces the loss of lean tissue mass. However, HP intake could have adverse effects on metabolic function, because protein ingestion reduces postprandial insulin sensitivity. In this study, we compared the effects of ∼10% WL with a hypocaloric diet containing 0.8 g protein/kg/day and a hypocaloric diet containing 1.2 g protein/kg/day on muscle insulin action in postmenopausal women with obesity. We found that HP intake reduced the WL-induced decline in lean tissue mass by ∼45%. However, HP intake also prevented the WL-induced improvements in muscle insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, as well as the WL-induced adaptations in oxidative stress and cell structural biology pathways. Our data demonstrate that the protein content of a WL diet can have profound effects on metabolic function and underscore the importance of considering dietary macronutrient composition during WL therapy for people with obesity.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Metabolic syndrome



Obesity, typically quantified in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeding threshold values, is considered a leading cause of premature death worldwide. For given body size (BMI), it is recognized that risk is also affected by body shape, particularly as a marker of abdominal fat deposits. Waist circumference (WC) is used as a risk indicator supplementary to BMI, but the high correlation of WC with BMI makes it hard to isolate the added value of WC.

Concepts: Death, Obesity, Overweight, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, Value added, Waist-hip ratio, Body shape


Background Genomewide association studies can be used to identify disease-relevant genomic regions, but interpretation of the data is challenging. The FTO region harbors the strongest genetic association with obesity, yet the mechanistic basis of this association remains elusive. Methods We examined epigenomic data, allelic activity, motif conservation, regulator expression, and gene coexpression patterns, with the aim of dissecting the regulatory circuitry and mechanistic basis of the association between the FTO region and obesity. We validated our predictions with the use of directed perturbations in samples from patients and from mice and with endogenous CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in samples from patients. Results Our data indicate that the FTO allele associated with obesity represses mitochondrial thermogenesis in adipocyte precursor cells in a tissue-autonomous manner. The rs1421085 T-to-C single-nucleotide variant disrupts a conserved motif for the ARID5B repressor, which leads to derepression of a potent preadipocyte enhancer and a doubling of IRX3 and IRX5 expression during early adipocyte differentiation. This results in a cell-autonomous developmental shift from energy-dissipating beige (brite) adipocytes to energy-storing white adipocytes, with a reduction in mitochondrial thermogenesis by a factor of 5, as well as an increase in lipid storage. Inhibition of Irx3 in adipose tissue in mice reduced body weight and increased energy dissipation without a change in physical activity or appetite. Knockdown of IRX3 or IRX5 in primary adipocytes from participants with the risk allele restored thermogenesis, increasing it by a factor of 7, and overexpression of these genes had the opposite effect in adipocytes from nonrisk-allele carriers. Repair of the ARID5B motif by CRISPR-Cas9 editing of rs1421085 in primary adipocytes from a patient with the risk allele restored IRX3 and IRX5 repression, activated browning expression programs, and restored thermogenesis, increasing it by a factor of 7. Conclusions Our results point to a pathway for adipocyte thermogenesis regulation involving ARID5B, rs1421085, IRX3, and IRX5, which, when manipulated, had pronounced pro-obesity and anti-obesity effects. (Funded by the German Research Center for Environmental Health and others.).

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Resistin


BACKGROUND: Gum Arabic (acacia Senegal) is a complex polysaccharide indigestible to both humans and animals. It has been considered as a safe dietary fiber by the United States, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the 1970s. Although its effects were extensively studied in animals, there is paucity of data regarding its quantified use in humans. This study was conducted to determine effects of regular Gum Arabic (GA) ingestion on body mass index and body fat percentage among healthy adult females. METHODS: A two-arm randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial was conducted in the Department of Physiology at the Khartoum University. A total of 120 healthy females completed the study. They were divided to two groups: A test group of 60 volunteers receiving GA (30 gm /day) for 6 weeks and a placebo group of 60 volunteers receiving pectin (1 gm/day) for the same period of time. Weight and height were measured before and after intervention using standardized height and weight scales. Skin fold thickness was measured using Harpenden Skin fold caliper. Fat percentage was calculated using Jackson and Pollock 7 caliper method and Siri equation. RESULTS: Pre and post analysis among the study group showed significant reduction in BMI by 0.32 (95%CI: 0.17 to 0.47; P<0.0001) and body fat percentage by 2.18% (95%CI: 1.54 to 2.83; P<0.0001) following regular intake of 30 gm /day Gum Arabic for six weeks. Side effects caused by GA ingestion were experienced only in the first week. They included unfavorable viscous sensation in the mouth, early morning nausea, mild diarrhea and bloating abdomen. CONCLUSIONS: GA ingestion causes significant reduction in BMI and body fat percentage among healthy adult females. The effect could be exploited in the treatment of obesity.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Obesity, Mass, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, Body fat percentage, Acacia


BACKGROUND: Intermittent fasting (IF; severe restriction 1 d/week) facilitates weight loss and improves coronary heart disease (CHD) risk indicators. The degree to which weight loss can be enhanced if IF is combined with calorie restriction (CR) and liquid meals, remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effects of IF plus CR (with or without a liquid diet) on body weight, body composition, and CHD risk. METHODS: Obese women (n = 54) were randomized to either the IFCR-liquid (IFCR-L) or IFCR-food based (IFCR-F) diet. The trial had two phases: 1) 2-week weight maintenance period, and 2) 8-week weight loss period. RESULTS: Body weight decreased more (P = 0.04) in the IFCR-L group (3.9 +/- 1.4 kg) versus the IFCR-F group (2.5 +/- 0.6 kg). Fat mass decreased similarly (P < 0.0001) in the IFCR-L and IFCR-F groups (2.8 +/- 1.2 kg and 1.9 +/- 0.7 kg, respectively). Visceral fat was reduced (P < 0.001) by IFCR-L (0.7 +/- 0.5 kg) and IFCR-F (0.3 +/- 0.5 kg) diets. Reductions in total and LDL cholesterol levels were greater (P = 0.04) in the IFCR-L (19 +/- 10%; 20 +/- 9%, respectively) versus the IFCR-F group (8 +/- 3%; 7 +/- 4%, respectively). LDL peak particle size increased (P < 0.01), while heart rate, glucose, insulin, and homocysteine decreased (P < 0.05), in the IFCR-L group only. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that IF combined with CR and liquid meals is an effective strategy to help obese women lose weight and lower CHD risk.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Nutrition, Obesity, Mass, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Dieting, Diets


BACKGROUND: Numerous natural products are marketed and sold claiming to decrease body weight and fat, but few undergo finished product-specific research demonstrating their safety and efficacy. OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and efficacy of a multi-ingredient supplement containing primarily raspberry ketone, caffeine, capsaicin, garlic, ginger and Citrus aurantium (Prograde MetabolismTM [METABO]) as an adjunct to an eight-week weight loss program. METHODS: Using a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design, 70 obese but otherwise healthy subjects were randomly assigned to METABO or a placebo and underwent 8 weeks of daily supplementation, a calorie restricted diet, and exercise training. Subjects were tested for changes in body composition, serum adipocytokines (adiponectin, resistin, leptin, TNF-alpha, IL-6) and markers of health including heart rate and blood pressure. RESULTS: Of the 45 subjects who completed the study, significant differences were observed in: body weight (METABO -2.0% vs. placebo -0.5%, P < 0.01), fat mass (METABO -7.8 vs. placebo -2.8%, P < 0.001), lean mass (METABO +3.4% vs. placebo +0.8%, P < 0.03), waist girth (METABO -2.0% vs. placebo -0.2%, P < 0.0007), hip girth (METABO -1.7% vs. placebo -0.4%, P < 0.003), and energy levels per anchored visual analogue scale (VAS) (METABO +29.3% vs. placebo +5.1%, P < 0.04). During the first 4 weeks, effects/trends for maintaining elevated serum leptin (P < 0.03) and decreased serum resistin (P < 0.08) in the METABO group vs. placebo were also observed. No changes in systemic hemodynamics, clinical blood chemistries, adverse events, or dietary intake were noted between groups. CONCLUSIONS: METABO administration is a safe and effective adjunct to an eight-week diet and exercise weight loss program by augmenting improvements in body composition, waist and hip girth. Adherence to the eight-week weight loss program also led to beneficial changes in body fat in placebo. Ongoing studies to confirm these results and clarify the mechanisms (i.e., biochemical and neuroendocrine mediators) by which METABO exerts the observed salutary effects are being conducted.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Physical exercise, Mass, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Dieting, Leptin


The prevalence of obesity in men in the UK is amongst the highest in Europe but men are less likely than women to use existing weight loss programmes. Developing weight management programmes which are appealing and acceptable to men is a public health priority. Football Fans in Training (FFIT), a men-only weight management programme delivered to groups of men at top professional football clubs, encourages men to lose weight by working with, not against, cultural ideals of masculinity. To inform further development of interventions in football club settings, the current study explored who is attracted to FFIT and why overweight/obese men choose to take part.

Concepts: Health, Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Bariatric surgery, Professional sports