Impact of a short-term low calorie diet alone or with interval exercise on quality of life and oxidized phospholipids in obese females

Nicole M. Gilbertson, Natalie Z.M. Eichner, Julian M. Gaitán, John M. Pirtle, Jennifer L. Kirby, Clint M. Upchurch, Norbert Leitinger, Steven K. Malin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to test if a low-calorie diet plus interval exercise (LCD+INT) reduced oxidized and non-oxidized phospholipids in relation to improved weight-related quality of life (QoL) to a greater extent than an energy-deficit matched LCD in obese females. Subjects (age: 47.2 ± 2.6 years, body mass index: 37.5 ± 1.3 kg/m2) were randomized to a 13-day LCD (n = 12; mixed meals of ∼1200 kcal/day) or LCD+INT (n = 13; 12 sessions of 60 min/day alternating 3 min at 50% and 90% peak heart rate plus an additional 350 kcal shake fed after exercise to match energy availability between groups). Weight-related QoL (Laval Questionnaire) as well as oxidized (POVPC, HOOA-PC, HPETE-PC, HETE-PC, PEIPC, KOOA-PC) and non-oxidized (PAPC and lysoPC) phospholipids were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Fitness (VO2peak), body composition (BodPod), and clinical bloods were also tested. LCD+INT significantly increased VO2peak (mL/kg/min, P = 0.03) compared to LCD despite similar fat loss, blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory responses. LCD+INT had significantly greater increases in QoL sexual life domain (P = 0.05) and tended to have a greater increase in the emotions domain (P = 0.09) and total score (P = 0.10) compared to LCD. There were no significant differences between treatments for changes in phospholipids despite LCD+INT increasing measured oxidized and non-oxidized phospholipids while LCD decreased POVPC, HOOA-PC, and PEIPC as well as non-oxidized PAPC and lysoPC. Interestingly, the rise in PEIPC correlated with elevated VO2peak (mL/kg/min r = 0.42, P = 0.05). Decreased caloric intake was, however, linked to a decrease in PAPC (r = 0.53, P = 0.01), lysoPC (r = 0.52, P = 0.02), POVPC (r = 0.43, P = 0.05), and HPETE-PC (r = 0.43, P = 0.05). The decrease in HETE-PC also correlated with increases in the QoL domains symptoms (r = -0.46, P = 0.04), hygiene/clothing (r = -0.53, P = 0.01), emotions (r = -0.53, P = 0.01), social interactions (r = -0.49, P = 0.02), and total score (r = -0.52, P = 0.02). In conclusion, although LCD and LCD+INT improved weight related QoL over 13 days in females with obesity, LCD+INT tended to improve sexual life, emotions as well as total QoL score more than LCD. These data suggest caloric restriction and fitness may act through different mechanisms to support QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113706
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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