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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effects of weight loss on endocannabinoids, cardiometabolic and psychological parameters, eating disorders (ED) as well as quality of life (QoL) and to elucidate the role of endocannabinoids in metabolic syndrome (MS). Methods: In total, 114 patients with obesity were prospectively included in a 12-month weight loss program. Plasma endocannabinoids were measured by mass spectrometry; ED, psychological and QoL-related parameters were evaluated by self-reported questionnaires; physical activity was measured by accelerometer. Nutritional assessment was done by a 3-day food diary. Results: Among completers (n = 87), body weight decreased in 35 patients (–9.1 ± 8.6 kg), remained stable in 39 patients, and increased in 13 patients (+5.8 ± 3.4 kg). 75% of patients with MS at baseline were free of MS at follow-up, and their baseline plasma N-palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) values were significantly lower when compared to patients with persisting MS. At baseline, there was a positive relationship between PEA and waist circumference (p = 0.005, R 2 = 0.08), fasting glucose (p < 0.0001, R 2 = 0.12), total cholesterol (p = 0.001, R 2 = 0.11), triglycerides (p = 0.001, R 2 = 0.11), LDL-cholesterol (p = 0.03, R 2 = 0.05) as well as depression score (p = 0.002, R 2 = 0.29). Conclusion: Plasma PEA might play a role in metabolic improvement after weight loss. Even in subjects without weight loss, a multidisciplinary intervention improves psychological outcomes, ED, and QoL.

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