Fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin identified as new biomarkers for weight loss

July 7, 2017, University of Copenhagen

Researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen today announced the findings from a weight loss biomarker study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN). The study, "Pretreatment fasting plasma glucose and insulin modify dietary weight loss success: results from 3 randomized clinical trials," found that fasting blood sugar and/or fasting insulin can be used to select the optimal diet and to predict weight loss, particularly for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

The research analyzed data from three diet clinical trials which collectively looked at more than 1,200 individuals - Diet, Obesity, and Genes (DiOGenes); the OPUS Supermarket intervention (SHOPUS); and the Nutrient-gene interactions in human obesity (NUGENOB). The findings suggest that for most people with prediabetes, a diet rich with vegetables fruits and wholegrains should be recommended for weight loss and could potentially improve diabetes markers. For people with type 2 diabetes, the analysis found that a diet rich in healthy fats from plant sources would be effective for achieving weight loss. These diets could also be effective independent of .

Two simple biomarkers with a large effect

"Recognizing fasting plasma glucose as a key enables a new interpretation of the data from many previous studies, which could potentially lead to a breakthrough in personalized nutrition," said Arne Astrup, M.D., Head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at University of Copenhagen. "The beauty of this concept is its simplicity. While we are looking into other biomarkers, it is quite amazing how much more we can do for our patients just by using those two simple biomarkers. We will continue to participate in and support research to explore additional biomarkers such as gut microbiota and genomics approaches, which may offer more insights and help to more effectively customize the right for specific individuals."

The latest findings, as reported in AJCN, have garnered international support with further analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN). Presented at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Scientific Sessions on June 11, 2017, the additional research includes an examination of patients in the Prevencion Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED Study), a Randomized Trial of a Low-CHO Diet for Obesity (CHO Study), and The Healthy Weight for Living Study. The different studies (six in total) employed a variety of nutrition strategies, including caloric restriction and ad libitum diets, varying the contributions of carbohydrate and fat, and increasing fiber intake.

The study was inspired by a finding in an early trial of Gelesis100, a novel hydrogel which demonstrated pronounced weight loss in people with prediabetes. The latest findings, as published in AJCN, concluded that a personalized nutritional approach based on an individual's biomarkers will lead to improved loss and maintenance success. The University of Copenhagen will continue to collaborate with the study's authors and other experts to advance this research and help find solutions for people around the world who struggle with .

Explore further: Fasting plasma glucose and insulin are determinants of dietary weight loss success

More information: Mads F Hjorth et al, Pretreatment fasting plasma glucose and insulin modify dietary weight loss success: results from 3 randomized clinical trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017). DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.117.155200

Related Stories

Fasting plasma glucose and insulin are determinants of dietary weight loss success

June 12, 2017
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, together with colleagues from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN) ...

Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss?

May 1, 2017
Alternate day fasting regimens have increased in popularity because some patients find it difficult to adhere to a conventional weight-loss diet.

Vegetarian diets almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, study finds

June 12, 2017
Dieters who go vegetarian not only lose weight more effectively than those on conventional low-calorie diets but also improve their metabolism by reducing muscle fat, a new study published in the Journal of the American College ...

Replacing diet beverages with water may help diabetic patients lose weight

October 17, 2016
In a study of 81 overweight and obese women with type 2 diabetes who usually consumed diet beverages and were on a weight loss program, those who substituted water for diet beverages after their lunch for 24 weeks had a greater ...

Weight loss reduces psoriasis symptoms

December 22, 2016
Weight loss has a significant and prolonged positive impact on psoriasis symptoms and quality of life. The findings stem from a study conducted by Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen's ...

Low-fat diet not most effective in long-term weight loss

October 29, 2015
Researchers conduct a systematic review of randomized clinical trials comparing the long-term effectiveness of low-fat and higher-fat dietary interventions on weight loss

Recommended for you

Whether sustained or sporadic, exercise offers same reductions in death risk

March 22, 2018
For decades, Americans have been inundated with a confusing barrage of messages about how best to counteract the health risks of sedentary lifestyles: walk 10,000 steps a day; do a seven-minute workout from a phone app; flip ...

Tai chi as good as or better than aerobic exercise for managing chronic pain

March 21, 2018
The ancient martial art of tai chi has similar or greater benefits than aerobic exercise for people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, finds a trial published by The BMJ today.

Study: Poor health is a less common cause of bankruptcy than commonly thought, but it brings other economic woes

March 21, 2018
A team of researchers led by an MIT economist has found that medical expenses account for roughly 4 percent of bankruptcy filings among nonelderly adults in the U.S.

Study finds bad sleep habits start early in school-age children

March 21, 2018
Bad sleep habits in children begin earlier than many experts assume. That's the takeaway from a new study led by McGill University researchers. The findings suggest that official sleep guidelines for young school children ...

Medical expansion has improved health—with one exception

March 21, 2018
While Americans debate the rising cost of health care, a new study of 30 countries over 27 years found that medical expansion has improved overall health - with one major exception.

Forgetting details, getting the gist may prompt false memories in older adults

March 21, 2018
Older adults often complain about forgetting, but Penn State psychologists suggest that another problem may be misremembering.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.