Obesity, weight loss, and influence on telomere length: New insights for personalized nutrition

Nutrition. 2019 Oct;66:115-121. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2019.05.002. Epub 2019 May 24.


Telomeres are structures located at the ends of chromosomes associated with proteins, from the shelterin complex, which are responsible for the protection and preservation of the genetic material. The telomere length (TL) progressively decreases with each cell division, and recent evidence suggests that lifestyle can lead to telomere shortening. In individuals with obesity, excess adipose tissue plays a key role in inducing a chronic and systemic inflammatory state, which can cause TL shortening. Thus, the aim of the present review was to show the relationship between obesity and TL in addition to the possible risk factors for its shortening and how the different strategies for weight loss can modulate TL. As the crucial result, we can consider the association between TL and weight loss, and adiposity changes after different interventions, showing that TL may be used as a biomarker of responses to obesity treatment.

Keywords: Biomarker; Nutritional intervention; Obesity; Shelterin complex; Telomere length; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Telomere
  • Telomere Shortening*
  • Weight Loss*