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Mild hyperbilirubinaemia as an endogenous mitigator of overweight and obesity: Implications for improved metabolic health

      Highlights

      • Mildly elevated unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) might mitigate cardiovascular disease risk factors including overweight/obesity.
      • Gilbert's syndrome(GS) subjects with mildly elevated UCB were metabolically healthier than age- and gender matched controls.
      • The condition of mild hyperbilirubinaemia (GS) seems to protect from age-related weight gain and dyslipidaemia.

      Abstract

      Background and aims

      Mild endogenous elevation of unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) as seen in Gilbert's syndrome (GS), might mitigate cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors including overweight/obesity. This study aimed to determine whether hyperbilirubinaemia is linked to improved anthropometric data and lipid profile.

      Methods

      Our study considered GS and age-/gender-matched healthy controls (n = 248). Additionally, obese female type 2 diabetic patients (DM2) (n = 26) were included as a “disease control group”.

      Results

      BMI, hip circumference (HC), and lipid profile were significantly lower in GS. UCB was inversely correlated with BMI (p <0 .001), HC as well as with fat mass (FM) and lipid variables (p < 0.05). Moreover, DM2 patients had significantly lower UCB compared to GS and healthy controls. Older GS subjects (≥35 years) had significantly reduced anthropometric data and improved lipid profile.

      Conclusions

      Our results propose that the health promoting potential of mild hyperbilirubinaemia may extend to protection from age-related weight gain and dyslipidaemia.

      Keywords

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