Photo of a scientist wearing a white coat and gloves holds broccoli with tweezers and places it in a petri dish

Medicine’s Xiao Li leads research dietary weight loss interventions

Xiao Li, assistant professor of biochemistry at the School of Medicine, authored a study published in Cell Reports Medicine.

In the article titled “Distinct factors associated with short-term and long-term weight loss induced by low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet intervention,” Li et al. deciphered the personal difference in responding to dietary weight loss intervention. The research team performed systematic analyses, including dietary, metabolic, proteomic, and gut microbiome data, collected before, during, and after a one-year diet intervention on either a healthy low carbohydrate or a healthy low fat diet. Their findings provided actionable advice and direction to focus future research to further personalize recommendations:

  • Distinct variables associated with short-term (six months) and long-term (one year) weight loss success; and
  • The primary drivers for short-term weight loss are diet adherence and diet quality—this was true on both diets.

Long-term weight loss is related to personal multi-omics markers at baseline. The team found proteomic and microbiome markers at baseline that correlated with long-term weight loss.

Baseline factors (e.g., RQ) can suggest precision approaches for weight loss- those who had a high RQ at baseline lost more weight on a low carb diet.