Background: Calorie restriction (CR) and endurance exercise are known to attenuate obesity and improve the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to directly compare the effects of CR and endurance exercise in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
Methods: Adult male C57BL/6N mice were randomly assigned and subjected to one of the six interventions for 8 weeks: low-fat diet (LC, 10% fat), low-fat diet with 30% calorie restriction (LR), high-fat diet (HC, 60% fat), high-fat diet with 30% calorie restriction (HR), high-fat diet with voluntary running exercise (HE), and high-fat diet with a combination of 30% calorie restriction and exercise (HRE). The impacts of the interventions were assessed by comprehensive metabolic analyses and pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression.
Results: Endurance exercise significantly attenuated high-fat diet-induced obesity. CR dramatically prevented high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. A combination of CR and endurance exercise further reduced obesity and insulin resistance under the condition of high-fat diet. CR and endurance exercise each potently suppressed the expression of inflammatory cytokines in white adipose tissues with additive effects when combined, but the effects of diet and exercise interventions in the liver were moderate to minimal.
Conclusions: CR and endurance exercise share a potent anti-inflammatory function in adipose tissues in ameliorating diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.