Obese and sedentary persons have increased risk for cancer; inflammation is a hypothesized mechanism. We examined the effects of a caloric restriction weight loss diet and exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in 439 women. Overweight and obese postmenopausal women were randomized to 1-year: caloric restriction diet (goal of 10% weight loss, N = 118), aerobic exercise (225 min/wk of moderate-to-vigorous activity, N = 117), combined diet + exercise (N = 117), or control (N = 87). Baseline and 1-year high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), interleukin-6 (IL-6), leukocyte, and neutrophil levels were measured by investigators blind to group. Inflammatory biomarker changes were compared using generalized estimating equations. Models were adjusted for baseline body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, and age. Four hundred and thirty-eight (N = 1 in diet + exercise group was excluded) were analyzed. Relative to controls, hs-CRP decreased by geometric mean (95% confidence interval, P value): 0.92 mg/L (0.53–1.31, P < 0.001) in the diet and 0.87 mg/L (0.51–1.23, P < 0.0001) in the diet + exercise groups. IL-6 decreased by 0.34 pg/mL (0.13–0.55, P = 0.001) in the diet and 0.32 pg/mL (0.15–0.49, P < 0.001) in the diet + exercise groups. Neutrophil counts decreased by 0.31 × 109/L (0.09–0.54, P = 0.006) in the diet and 0.30 × 109/L (0.09–0.50, P = 0.005) in the diet + exercise groups. Diet and diet + exercise participants with 5% or more weight loss reduced inflammatory biomarkers (hs-CRP, SAA, and IL-6) compared with controls. The diet and diet + exercise groups reduced hs-CRP in all subgroups of baseline BMI, waist circumference, CRP level, and fasting glucose. Our findings indicate that a caloric restriction weight loss diet with or without exercise reduces biomarkers of inflammation in postmenopausal women, with potential clinical significance for cancer risk reduction. Cancer Res; 72(9); 2314–26. ©2012 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received September 16, 2011.
- Revision received February 13, 2012.
- Accepted February 27, 2012.
- ©2012 American Association for Cancer Research.