Introduction: The relationship between food intake and hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis has been studied in the development of visceral adiposity and obesity. The HPA axis may interact with the reward system, thus influencing food choices. On the other hand, it has been shown that macronutrients differently modulate the HPA axis activity.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary habits in subjects with adrenal masses (adenoma or hyperplasia) with different pattern of cortisol secretion.
Materials and methods: We enrolled 36 women with adrenal masses, divided in not-secreting (NS; n=19) and subclinical autonomous glucocorticoids hypersecretion (SAGH; n=17) group, according to cortisol value after 1 mg-dexamethasone suppression test (NS: cortisol <50 nmol/l; SAGH: cortisol ≥50 nmol/l). Each subject underwent dietary interview and weekly food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).
Results: The two groups were not significantly different neither in anthropometric nor in metabolic parameters. Daily caloric intake was similar between the two groups as well as the percentage of macronutrients. In all subjects, post-dexamethasone cortisol values were negatively and significantly related to lipid intake (R=−0.415; P<0.05) and positively and significantly related to glucid intake (R=0.400; P<0.05). The FFQ showed a significantly lower frequency of sweet foods (chocolate, candies, etc.) consumption in SAGH then NS (P<0.05).
Conclusions: These preliminary data showed, for the first time, a possible relation between cortisol suppression degree and lipidic and glucidic intake in a selected cohort of subjects. The FFQ, expression of food choice, will be completed by analyzing the size of foods. Furthermore, these data need to be evaluated in a larger cohort of subjects with SAGH.