Previous studies in humans and animals have focused on the short-term effects of weight loss, the researchers say, but little is known about how cycles of weight loss and gain (yo-yo dieting) can influence the effects, the researchers say. long-term health.
To conduct the study, the researchers divided 16 mice into two groups. One group was put on a normal diet throughout the study, while the other group received a yo-yo diet with a restricted diet (60% of their normal daily food intake). followed by a normal diet for three weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers used ultrasound waves to assess heart and kidney function in mice and blood tests to assess insulin sensitivity, which is a measure of how the body processes sugar.
“We found that animals that underwent several cycles of weight loss and body weight recovery had decreased heart and kidney function at the end of the period. They are also more resistant to insulin, which can contribute to diabetes,“Aline MA de Souza, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, first author of the study.”Although the animals looked healthy after ‘recovering’ from the diet, their hearts and metabolism were not healthy.“
These findings raise questions about public health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that people who have had difficulty accessing food due to the pandemic shutdown and the economic impacts face high rates of poverty. The incidence of heart disease increases in the coming years due to the long-term effects.
“Our data support the need for additional research in people to find out if people who follow very restrictive diets to lose weight have a higher risk of later heart problems,“de Souza said.”We still need to do more research in this area, but the findings suggest that the more restrictive the diet, the worse the health outcomes. Weight loss diets need careful consideration for long-term health, especially if rapid weight loss is being considered an option.“
Although more research is needed to determine the biological mechanisms behind the findings and whether the patterns found in mice are being translated to humans, the researchers speculate that changes in gene expression in response to caloric control may alter biological pathways that regulate blood pressure and insulin metabolism. .