Impact of Weight Loss Strategies on Obesity-Induced DNA Damage

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Sep;63(17):e1900045. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201900045. Epub 2019 Jun 14.


Scope: Obesity causes DNA damage, which is causally related to several disorders including cancer, infertility, and cognitive dysfunctions. The aim of this study is to investigate whether weight loss improves the integrity of the genetic material.

Methods and results: Overweight mice are fed ad libitum either with a Western diet (WD), with a 40% caloric restricted WD, or with a high carbohydrate low protein (HCLP) diet. Caloric restriction and also the HCLP diet lead to ca. 30% weight loss, which is paralleled by decreased DNA damage ("comet" formation) and oxidative damage of purines in inner organs, additionally the activity of nucleotide excision repair increased. The effects are more pronounced in animals that have received the HCLP chow. Results of biochemical analyses indicate that the reduction of DNA damage is associated with a decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lower insulin levels.

Conclusion: The study indicates that weight loss may prevent obesity-associated adverse health effects due to reduction of overall DNA damage.

Keywords: DNA damage; DNA repair; Western diet; inflammation; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted*
  • Diet, Western
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Weight Loss / genetics*


  • Cytokines
  • Dietary Carbohydrates