The purposes were to compare the effects of a: (1) 12-week P-CR weight loss (WL) diet (Phase 1) between obese men and women and; (2) 52-week modified P-CR (mP-CR) vs. heart healthy (HH) weight maintenance (WM) diet (Phase 2) on serum PCBs and oxidative stress biomarkers (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS; total antioxidant capacity, TAC) in 40 obese participants (men, n = 21; women, n = 19). Participants received dietary counseling and monitoring of compliance. PCBs, TBARS, and TAC were assessed at weeks -1 (CON), 12 (WL), and 64 (WM). Following WL (Week 12), concomitant with reductions in TBARS (0.24 ± 0.15 vs. 0.18 ± 0.11 µM; p < 0.01), PCB serum concentrations (86.7 ± 45.6 vs. 115.6 ± 65.9 ng/g lipid; p < 0.01) and TAC (18.9 ± 2.6 vs. 19.9 ± 2.3 nmol/mL; p < 0.02) were increased similarly in men and women. At the end of WM (Week 64), a significant effect of time × group interaction was observed for % change in PCB 170 and 187; whereby mP-CR values were higher compared to HH (PCB170: 19.31% ± 26.48% vs. -6.61% ± 28.88%, p = 0.02; PCB187: -3.04% ± 17.78% vs. -21.4% ± 27.31%, p = 0.04). PCB changes were positively correlated with TBARS levels (r > 0.42, p < 0.05) and negatively correlated with body weight, fat mass, and abdominal fat (r < -0.46, p < 0.02). Our results support mobilization of stored PCBs as well as enhanced redox status following a 12-week P-CR WL diet. Additionally, a 52-week mP-CR WM diet demonstrated an advantage in preventing weight gain relapse accompanied by an increase in circulating PCBs compared to a traditional HH diet.
Keywords: caloric restriction; intermittent-fasting; oxidative stress; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).