Effect of weight reduction on cardiovascular risk factors and CD34-positive cells in circulation

Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(6):445-52. doi: 10.7150/ijms.8.445. Epub 2011 Aug 1.


Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk for the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Dyslipidemia of obesity is characterized by elevated fasting triglycerides and decreased high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations. Endothelial damage and dysfunction is considered to be a major underlying mechanism for the elevated cardiovascular risk associated with increased adiposity. Alterations in endothelial cells and stem/endothelial progenitor cell function associated with overweight and obesity predispose to atherosclerosis and thrombosis. In our study, we analyzed the effect of a low calorie diet in combination with oral supplementation by vitamins, minerals, probiotics and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, 125-180 IUs) on the body composition, lipid profile and CD34-positive cells in circulation. During this dieting program, the following parameters were assessed weekly for all participants: fat free mass, body fat, BMI, extracellular/intracellular water, total body water and basal metabolic rate. For part of participants blood chemistry parameters and circulating CD34-positive cells were determined before and after dieting. The data indicated that the treatments not only reduced body fat mass and total mass but also improved the lipid profile. The changes in body composition correlated with the level of lipoproteins responsible for the increased cardiovascular risk factors. These changes in body composition and lipid profile parameters coincided with the improvement of circulatory progenitor cell numbers. As the result of our study, we concluded that the improvement of body composition affects the number of stem/progenitor cells in circulation.

Keywords: body composition; cardiovascular risk factors; lipid profile; progenitor cells.; weight reduction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism*
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Weight Loss / drug effects
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin