Overweight and Obesity Influence Cortisol Response to Food Ingestion in Men

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SAT 41-52-HPA Axis & Disease States
Saturday, June 15, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SAT-41
Anne I Turner*1, Susan J Torres1, Emma Townsin1, Caryl A Nowson1, Alan J Tilbrook2 and Sisitha U Jayasinghe1
1Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, 2South Australian Research & Deve, Roseworthy, SA, Australia
Previous research has shown that increased levels of adiposity can lead to increased cortisol response to stress (1, 2, 3).  Food intake has also been shown to activate the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis (4, 5) but it is not clear if this activation is influenced by levels of adiposity.  We tested the hypothesis that overweight/obese men will have a greater cortisol response to food ingestion compared to lean men.

Lean (BMI=20-25 kg/m2; n=19) and overweight/obese (BMI=27-35 kg/m2; n=17) men aged 50-70 years were allowed to prepare their own lunch at 12:00 pm using bread, margarine, cheese, processed meat (ham or chicken), tomato, cucumber, nuts, fruit bars and a fruit juice box drink.  Records were made of foods consumed.  Energy and macronutrient intake were determined using Foodworks (version 6.0; Xyris Software, QLD).  Concentrations of cortisol were measured (by enzyme immunoassay) in samples of saliva collected every 15 min from 11:45 am to 2:00 pm with the exception of during lunch (12:15 pm) when no sample was collected.

Mean (±SEM) body weight and BMI were significantly higher in overweight/obese men compared to lean men (93.8±2.3 vs 69.7±1.6 kg and 30.6±0.6 vs 23.5±0.3 kg/m2, respectively; p<0.001 for both).  Lean and overweight/obese men did not differ significantly in their energy intake (2895±245 vs 3015±235 kJ) or macronutrient intake (Protein: 27.2±2.1 vs 29.9±2.5 g; Carbohydrate: 65.2±6.4 vs 73.0±5.4 g; Fat: 37.2±4.3 vs 35.7±4.3 g, respectively; p>0.05 for all).  For cortisol, repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant time*treatment interaction (p=0.008). Overweight/obese men responded to food intake with a significant elevation (51%) in salivary cortisol (time effect: p=0.005) whereas lean men did not have a significant elevation (5%) of cortisol (time effect: p=0.382).

While overweight/obese men had a significant cortisol response to food ingestion, lean men did not.  If overweight/obese men have an elevated cortisol response every time they ingest food, they may be more susceptible to the development of stress-related disease.

(1) Marin P, Darin M, Amemiya  T, Andersson B, Jern S, Bjorntorp P (1992) Metabolism-Clinical and Experimental 41: 882-886.  (2) Tilbrook A, Rivalland E, Turner A, Lambert G, Clarke I (2008) Neuroendocrinology 87: 193-205.  (3) Steptoe A, Kunz-Eberecht SR, Brydon L, Wardle J (2004) International Journal of Obesity 28: 1168-1173.  (4) Gibson EL, Checkley S, Papadopoulos A, Poon L, Daley S, Wardle J (1999) Psychosomatic Medicine 61: 214-224.  (5) Rosmond R, Holm G, Bjorntorp P (2000) International Journal of Obesity 24: 416-422.

Nothing to Disclose: AIT, SJT, ET, CAN, AJT, SUJ

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at http://www.endo-society.org/endo2013/media.cfm

Sources of Research Support: Deakin University.
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