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Perfluoroalkyl Substances Linked to Greater Weight Regain

Higher baseline levels of PFAS tied to greater weight regain in weight-loss setting, especially for women

TUESDAY, Feb. 13, 2018 (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 Feb. 13 in PLOS Medicine.

Gang Liu, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. 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 six 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 six 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 six 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.”

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