5 percent weight loss may lower diabetes risk
The results indicated that while additional weight loss will further improve metabolic health, a mere five percent weight loss is sufficient to reduce multiple risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
“Our findings show that even a small amount of weight loss has important health benefits for multiple organ systems,” said Samuel Klein from Washington University in St Louis in the US.
The current obesity practice guidelines needs to be reconsidered towards stressing a target goal of five percent weight loss, the researchers maintained in a paper published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The researchers randomly assigning 40 obese individuals to either maintain their body weight or go on a low-calorie diet to lose five percent, ten percent, or five percent of their body weight.
Importantly, all of the study participants showed signs of insulin-resistant glucose metabolism — a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
Among the 19 individuals who lost five percent of their body weight, beta cell function improved significantly, as did insulin sensitivity in fat tissue, liver and skeletal muscle.
Meanwhile, the nine participants who achieved additional weight loss showed further improvements in beta cell function and insulin sensitivity in muscle tissue.
“We hope that these findings will encourage obese people to take reasonable steps to watch what they eat and increase their physical activity, because this will translate into a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease,” the authors pointed out.
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