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    Regular exercise has profound metabolic influence on the liver, but effects on bile acid (BA) metabolism are less well known. BAs are synthesized exclusively in the liver from cholesterol via the rate-limiting enzyme cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1). BAs contribute to the solubilization and absorption of lipids and serve as important signaling molecules, capable of systemic endocrine function. Circulating BAs increase with obesity and insulin resistance, but effects following exercise and diet-induced weight loss are unknown. To test if improvements in fitness and weight loss as a result of exercise training enhance BA metabolism, we measured serum concentrations of total BAs (conjugated and unconjugated primary and secondary BAs) in sedentary, obese, insulin-resistant women (N = 11) before (PRE) and after (POST) a ∼14-wk exercise and diet-induced weight loss intervention. BAs were measured in serum collected after an overnight fast and during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Serum fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19; a regulator of BA synthesis) and 7-alpha-hydroxy-cholesten-3-one (C4, a marker of CYP7A1 enzymatic activity) also were measured. Using linear mixed-model analyses and the change in V̇O2peak (mL/min/kg) as a covariate, we observed that exercise and weight loss intervention decreased total fasting serum BA by ∼30% (P = 0.001) and increased fasting serum C4 concentrations by 55% (P = 0.004). C4 was significantly correlated with serum total BAs only in the POST condition, whereas serum FGF19 was unchanged. These data indicate that a fitness and weight loss intervention modifies BA metabolism in obese women and suggest that improved metabolic health associates with higher postabsorptive (fasting) BA synthesis. Furthermore, pre- vs. postintervention patterns of serum C4 following an OGTT support the hypothesis that responsiveness of BA synthesis to postprandial inhibition is improved after exercise and weight loss.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Exercise and weight loss in previously sedentary, insulin-resistant women facilitates a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity and fitness that may be linked to changes in bile acid metabolism. Diet-induced weight loss plus exercise-induced increases in fitness promote greater postabsorptive bile acid synthesis while also sensitizing the bile acid metabolic system to feedback inhibition during a glucose challenge when glucose and insulin are elevated.


    Kelly E Mercer, Adrianna Maurer, Lindsay M Pack, Kikumi Ono-Moore, Beverly J Spray, Caitlin Campbell, Carol J Chandler, Dustin Burnett, Elaine Souza, Gretchen Casazza, Nancy Keim, John Newman, Gary Hunter, Jose Fernadez, W Timothy Garvey, Mary-Ellen Harper, Charles Hoppel, Sean H Adams, John Thyfault. Exercise training and diet-induced weight loss increase markers of hepatic bile acid (BA) synthesis and reduce serum total BA concentrations in obese women. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism. 2021 May 01;320(5):E864-E873

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    PMID: 33645254

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