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Thermogenesis and weight loss in obese individuals: a primary association with organochlorine pollution


The main objective of this study was to investigate the potential impact of body organochlorine (OC) pollution on the adaptive change in thermogenesis induced by body weight loss. Fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) were measured in obese individuals before and after a weight-reducing program. The measured values of SMR were then compared to those predicted from a reference equation established from FM and FFM in control subjects. Plasma OC, leptin, total tri-iodothyronine, and free thyroxine concentrations were also measured in obese subjects before and after weight loss. After weight loss, the measured decrease in SMR was greater than that predicted by changes in FM and FFM. Increased plasma OC concentration was the factor explaining the greatest proportion of the difference between predicted and measured SMR changes induced by body weight loss. OC pollution seems to be a new factor affecting the control of thermogenesis in some obese individuals experiencing body weight loss.

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This research was supported by Servier Canada. Angelo Tremblay is partly funded by the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Energy Balance.

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Tremblay, A., Pelletier, C., Doucet, E. et al. Thermogenesis and weight loss in obese individuals: a primary association with organochlorine pollution. Int J Obes 28, 936–939 (2004).

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  • adaptive thermogenesis
  • organochlorine
  • leptin
  • weight loss

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