Weight Regain More Likely With Perfluoroalkyl Substances

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There was a significant correlation for higher baseline levels of perfluoroalkyl substances with greater weight regain, especially in women.
There was a significant correlation for higher baseline levels of perfluoroalkyl substances with greater weight regain, especially in women.

HealthDay News — Higher concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are associated with greater weight regain in a diet-induced weight-loss setting, according to a study published online in PLOS Medicine.

Gang Liu, PhD, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlations of PFAS exposure with changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate (RMR) in a diet-induced weight loss setting. Baseline plasma concentrations of major PFASs were measured among 621 overweight and obese participants aged 30 to 70 years.

The researchers found that during the first 6 months (weight-loss period), participants lost an average of 6.4 kg of body weight and that they subsequently regained an average of 2.7 kg of body weight during the period of 6 to 24 months (weight-regain period).

There was no significant correlation for baseline PFAS concentrations with concurrent body weight or weight loss during the first 6 months after multivariate adjustment. However, there was a significant correlation for higher baseline levels of PFAS with greater weight regain, especially in women.

For men and women, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations were significantly correlated with greater decline in RMR during the weight-loss period and less increase in RMR in the weight-regain period.

"These data illustrate a potential novel pathway through which PFASs interfere with human body weight regulation and metabolism," the authors write. "The possible impact of environmental chemicals on the obesity epidemic therefore deserves attention."

Reference

Liu G, Dhana K, Furtado JD, et al. Perfluoroalkyl substances and changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate in response to weight-loss diets: a prospective study [published online February 13, 2018]. PLoS Medicine. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002502

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