Telomere length elongation after weight loss intervention in obese adults

Mol Genet Metab. 2016 Jun;118(2):138-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


Introduction: Telomeres may be considered markers of biological aging, shorter telomere length is associated with some age-related diseases; in several studies short telomere length has also been associated to obesity in adults and adolescents. However the relationship between telomere complex functions and obesity is still not clear. Aim of the study was to assess telomere length (TL) in adults' obese subjects before and after weight loss obtained by placement of bioenteric intragastric balloon (BIB) for 6months.

Methods: We enrolled 42 obese subjects before and after BIB placement as weight loss intervention. Blood samples were collected in order to obtain DNA from leukocyte to measure TL by quantitative PCR.

Results: Data were analyzed only in 37 subjects with complete data; all presented important body weight loss (124.06±26.7 vs 105.40±23.14, p<0.001) and more interesting they presented a significant increase in TL (3.58±0.83 vs 5.61±3.29, p<0.001). Moreover we observed a significant positive correlation between TL elongation and weight loss (r=0.44, p=0.007) as well as an inverse correlation between TL at baseline and TL elongation (r=-0.35, p=0.03).The predictors of TL elongation were once again weight loss and short TL at baseline (respectively p=0.007 and p=0.003).

Conclusions: Our study shows that weight loss is associated to telomere lengthening in a positive correlation: the greater weight loss the greater telomere lengthening; moreover telomere lengthening is more significant in those subjects with shortest telomeres at baseline.

Keywords: Bioenteric intragastric balloon; Obesity; Telomere; Telomere length; Weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / genetics
  • Female
  • Gastric Balloon
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Telomere Homeostasis*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers