(HealthDay News) – Implementation of a caloric restriction weight-loss diet, with or without exercise, is associated with measurable reductions in markers of inflammation for obese or overweight postmenopausal women.

Ikuyo Imayama, MD, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined the effects of a caloric restriction weight-loss diet and exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in 438 overweight and obese postmenopausal women. Participants were randomly allocated to one year of a caloric restriction diet (goal of 10% weight loss; 118 women); aerobic exercise (225 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous activity; 117 women); combined diet + exercise (116 women); or control (87 women). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), interleukin-6 (IL-6), leukocyte, and neutrophil levels were measured at baseline and one year by blinded investigators.

The researchers found that, compared to the control group, hs-CRP, IL-6, and neutrophil counts decreased significantly in the diet and diet + exercise groups. Inflammatory biomarkers hs-CRP, SAA, and IL-6 were reduced for participants in the diet and diet + exercise groups that lost >5% of their weight, compared with controls.

“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,” the authors write.

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