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Detoxification Enhanced Lifestyle Intervention Targeting Endotoxemia (DELITE) in the Setting of Obesity and Pain: Results of a Pilot Group Intervention

Background: Obesity is a complex multifactorial disorder affecting a growing proportion of the population. While therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) is foundational, results of interventional programs are often inconsistent. Factors related to systemic inflammation, toxin load and endotoxemia have been postulated to play a contributory role. This pilot study sought to evaluate the role of TLC with enhanced laboratory evaluation and interventions to address these emerging therapeutic targets. Methods: Twelve participants with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 (or 27 with metabolic co-morbidities) were recruited from an outpatient clinic for participation with a primary outcome of pre/post changes in body composition. Participants completed a 12-week program involving weekly group and individualized dietary, exercise, and behavioral support, supplemented with a commercial, 30-day dietary detoxification intervention and ongoing nutritional counseling. All participants completed baseline and post-intervention evaluation including metabolic, toxin load, endotoxin, body composition and functional fitness profiles. Results: After 12-weeks, participants as a group significantly improved body composition parameters including BMI, body fat, fat mass, and waist and hip circumference (P < .01). Significant improvement in several secondary outcomes including levels of lipopolysaccharide, zonulin and leptin were noted. Additionally, results demonstrate substantial improvements in pain, pain interference and functional fitness. Upon completion, all participants rated the program favorably with a high likelihood of continuing or recommending participation to others. Conclusions: Obesity remains a challenging and often refractory clinical scenario with emerging evidence indicating the potential role of systemic inflammation, toxin load and endotoxemia. A group therapeutic lifestyle change program enhanced with a detoxification component is feasible and may provide a promising intervention for achieving weight loss while also addressing functional and pain related co-morbidities. Future randomized trials evaluating the components of such a program are needed to better delineate the role of specific interventions in the complex setting of obesity.

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