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Increased Serum GDF15 Related to Improvement in Metabolism by Lifestyle Intervention Among Young Overweight and Obese Adults

Authors Cai L, Li C, Wang Y, Mo Y, Yin J, Ma X

Received 14 January 2021

Accepted for publication 20 February 2021

Published 17 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1195—1202


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Lingli Cai,* Cheng Li,* Yufei Wang, Yifei Mo, Jun Yin, Xiaojing Ma

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital; Shanghai Clinical Center for Diabetes; Shanghai Diabetes Institute; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Jun Yin; Xiaojing Ma
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, 200233, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-21-64369181
Fax +86-21-64368031
Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Aim: Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is closely related to obesity. This study aimed to explore the influence of weight loss intervention on serum GDF15 levels and the relationship between GDF15 and metabolism.
Materials and Methods: Forty-four overweight and obese adults either adopted a low-carbohydrate diet or performed moderate-to-vigorous exercise for 3 weeks. Weekly follow-ups were conducted to measure body composition, glucose and lipid metabolism and serum GDF15 levels.
Results: After 3 weeks of intervention, body weight, fat mass and waist circumference in both groups decreased (P < 0.05). No significant change in GDF15 levels was observed in the two groups. Among all the subjects, 10 of them (22.7%, group of Down) showed a decrease in GDF15 and 34 (77.3%, group of Up) showed an increase in GDF15 after the intervention. We found that GDF15 increased significantly with the follow-up time in the UP group and waist circumference, fasting serum insulin (FINS), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and triglycerides (TG) decreased (P for trend < 0.05). However, no significant differences in all parameters were detected in Down group. In addition, GDF15 was elevated between 30 mins and 120 mins in a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. Its trend was negatively correlated with plasma glucose and serum insulin.
Conclusion: Increased serum GDF15 was associated with improvement in metabolism by lifestyle intervention among young overweight and obese adults. The increase of GDF15 could be an indicator to evaluate metabolic improvements in overweight and obese people.
Clinical Trial Registration:, registration number ChiCTR1800016786.

Keywords: growth differentiation factor 15, obesity, metabolism, low-carbohydrate diet, exercise

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