What is the best diet for weight loss? What should we eat for healthy aging? This what-should-we-eat topic is always popular, as people are always looking for more answers to their health. The Mediterranean diet is one of the diets which has been confirmed to prevent heart disease and stroke.A Mediterranean diet is a combinaation of plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Olive oil is the main source of added fat, and seafood, dairy, and poultry are eaten in moderation. While red meat and sweets are eaten only occasionally.
Recent clinical and epidemiological studies have shown significant relationships between chronobiology and obesity. For example, shift work, sleep deprivation, and bright light exposure at night have been associated with increased obesity. Although our understanding of the biological clock model continues to evolve, previous studies have established that Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (CLOCK), which is involved in the regulation of circadian rhythm, is also involved in metabolism. However, no study has yet reported relationships between CLOCK gene polymorphisms and weight loss in response to a specific diet.
In this study, researchers investigated whether five candidate polymorphisms from the CLOCK gene were associated with changes in body, metabolism or weight loss in response to a 28-week behavioral weight reduction program based on the Mediterranean diet. They recruited overweight or obese subjects (BMI>25 kg m-2 and <40 kg m-2) within the age range of 20–65 years (n = 500) who attended 2008 five outpatient obesity clinics in southeastern Spain. Participants were provided a weekly 60-min therapy session by a nutritionist. Dietary individual energy requirements were assessed by calculating resting energy expenditure and total energy expenditure. The recommendations were consistent with the Mediterranean type of diet and the macronutrient distribution followed the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition recommendations. There were significant associations with weight and BMI among the five polymorphisms for SNPs rs3749474 and rs1801260 and with waist for rs3749474 at baseline. However, after the treatment, only rs1801260 showed an association with differences in body weight reduction. Patients with the minor allele (G) were less successful in losing weight after adjusting for baseline BMI. The difficulty in losing weight was particularly evident after 12 weeks of treatment.
In conclusion, in this intervention trial performed in a Mediterranean population, the researchers replicated previous studies that reported relationships between CLOCK gene polymorphisms and obesity. These data suggest that CLOCK gene polymorphisms may predict weight loss success in response to a low-energy diet. If you would like to know more about this research, you can read the study here:
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