Weight loss is a critical factor to reduce inflammation

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Dec:28:21-35. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.08.007. Epub 2018 Sep 3.


Background: Chronic inflammation is a process sustained by the augmentation of circulating cytokines level and C-reactive protein (CRP). Adipocytes and adipose tissue infiltration with inflammatory cells, are an important source of adipokines production, and their expansion due to overnutrition is responsible for increased in inflammation. The reduction of body fat following both controlled diets or gastric surgery can be favorable in the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Methods: A systematic literature search performed using PubMed, Google Scholar and Cochrane Library database screened for clinical and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using the combination of the following keywords: "weight loss, inflammation," "restricted diet, anti-inflammatory effect." Studies including diet intervention, weight loss after gastric surgery have been included. Multidisciplinary program with the addition of food supplements, exercise, or drugs have been excluded to avoid their interference with the regulation inflammatory markers.

Results: Out of 967 articles found, 76 were selected, including a total of 6742 patients with a mean age of 44.0 ± 3,3 years and a BMI of 33 ± 6.6. The observation period ranged from 3 weeks up to two years with an average weight loss per month of 1.1 kg. In most of the studies, it was found that weight loss caused a significant reduction of plasma level of inflammatory cytokines although three studies did not see any effect.

Conclusions: In obese and overweight subjects weight loss, induced both by energy-restricted diet or surgery, is a determinant factor for reducing the level of pro-inflammatory markers. Hypocaloric diet has an anti-inflammatory effect independent of the diet composition which can play an important role in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / blood
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / diet therapy*
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / diet therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Weight Loss


  • Cytokines