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Ascent to altitude as a weight loss method: The good and bad of hypoxia inducible factor activation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23625659     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Objective: Given the epidemic of obesity worldwide there is a need for more novel and effective weight loss methods. Altitude is well known to be associated with weight loss and has actually been used as a method of weight reduction in obese subjects. This review demonstrates the critical role of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) in bringing about the reduction in appetite and increase in energy expenditure characteristic of hypobaric hypoxia Design and methods: A MEDLINE search of English language articles through February 2013 identified publications associating altitude or hypobaric hypoxia with key words to include hypoxia inducible factor, weight loss, appetite, basal metabolic rate, leptin, cellular energetics, and obesity. The data from these articles were synthesized to formulate a unique and novel mechanism by which HIF activation leads to alterations in appetite, basal metabolic rate, and reductions in body adiposity. Results: A synthesis of previously published literature revealed mechanisms by which altitude induces activation of HIF, thereby suggesting this transcription factor regulates changes in cellular metabolism/energetics, activation of the central nervous system, as well as peripheral pathways leading to reductions in food intake and increases in energy expenditure. Conclusions: Here we present a unifying hypothesis suggesting that activation of HIF under conditions of altitude potentially leads to metabolic benefits that are dose dependent, gender and genetic specific, and results in adverse effects if the exposure is extreme.
Biff F Palmer; Deborah J Clegg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-4-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1930-739X     ISO Abbreviation:  Obesity (Silver Spring)     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-4-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101264860     Medline TA:  Obesity (Silver Spring)     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society.
Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
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