Credit: Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Photos

U.S. researchers have for the first time been able to see that even a modest weight loss of about five percent in obese people can have positive effects on health. With among other things, improved insulin sensitivity.

The study participants all weighed well over 100 kilos (220 pounds). But after losing only 6-8 kg, the researchers could see improvements in insulin sensitivity in the liver and in muscles.

Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how effective the body is at using insulin to reduce elevated blood glucose levels, with a greater efficacy being more ‘sensitivity’ and poorer efficacy being more ‘resistant’. When the body becomes too resistant in using insulin to reduce blood glucose levels, type II diabetes is just around the corner.

This is the first time it has been shown that such a small weight loss has positive effects on health.

This research can be a good basis for further investigation into the effects of small weight reductions to reduce the risks of various types of cardiovascular disease.

Reference: Faidon Magkos et al. Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity. DOI: 10.1016 / j.cmet.2016.02.005