Dieting and Weight Loss Provides Long-Term Health Benefits

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Even after weight loss ends, health benefits continue. Image by lockstockb

Dieting for Health: Interview with Matthias Blüher, MD

Decoded Science had the opportunity to ask one of the authors of the study, Dr. Blüher from the Department of Medicine, University of Leipzig, in Leipzig, Germany about the significance of his study and his recommendations for people wanting to lose weight.

Decoded Science: In your results, you stated that there were two patterns of biomarkers (A and B). Can you explain the importance in these patterns, and how they relate to weight loss?

Dr. Blüher: “We identified two patterns of markers, one primarily following the body weight dynamic (and therefore simply reflecting changes in fat mass) and the other reflecting the healthier diet, independently of body weight (regain). We found that parameters of inflammation (hsCrP), lipid metabolism (HDL-cholesterol) adipose tissue (adiponectin) and liver (fetuin-A) function display a continued long-term improvement despite partial weight regain.”

Decoded Science: What do you consider to be the most significant finding in this study?

Dr. Blüher:“We demonstrate for the first time that two major classes of dynamics of biomarkers can be described during long term diet interventions. One pattern closely reflects weight change, and the other is suggestive of cumulative beneficial effects, alternatively as a delayed response to the initial weight loss, or perhaps to continued healthy dieting. Thus, weight reduction is not the sole indicator of the beneficial effects of healthy dieting, which may be discernable by measuring specific group of biomarkers despite partial weight maintenance/regain.”

Decoded Science: Based on your research what are your recommendations for dieters – people wanting to lose weight?

Dr. Blüher: “People who want to lose weight should adhere to a calorie restricted diet even if they experience a partial weight regain. Our results indicate that independently of losing weight, healthy life style including hypocaloric nutrition and increased physical activity can improve risk factors for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.”

Losing Weight and Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

This new research shows that not only is weight loss important, but adopting a healthy lifestyle has its own benefits in the long run. If you adopt a healthy diet and activity level, something that you will be able to stick with over a lifetime, you are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and enjoy the health benefits that come with weight loss.

Resources:

Blüher, M., Rudich, A., Klöting, N., Golan, R., Henkin, Y., Rubin, E., Schwarzfuchs, D., et al. (2011). Two Patterns of Adipokine and Other Biomarker Dynamics in a Long-Term Weight Loss Intervention. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc11-1267. Accessed January 5, 2012.

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