Preventing and treating obesity and metabolic dysfunctions with antioxidants
Alsanea, Sary Ibrahim
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Because of excessive energy intake and lack of sufficient physical activity, obesity prevalence has been increasing worldwide. In the United States, more than a third of the population is obese, which has brought about the recrudescence of obesity-associated diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The underlying mechanism of obesity, especially diet-induced obesity, is a low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue initiated by the high level of reactive oxygen species generated by the oxidation process of energy metabolism. In fact, human and animal studies have linked obesity with oxidative stress and inflammation. This dissertation project is designed to explore the possible use of antioxidants to obstruct diet-induced obesity and to study the underlying mechanisms in an animal model. The rationale for this research is that reactive oxygen species generated by excessive energy intake are directly responsible for a low-level and chronic inflammation, leading to weight gain, insulin resistance, and fatty liver. Scavenging the excess amount of reactive oxygen species generated by overeating through supplying the appropriate antioxidants should suppress obesity development and alleviate obesity-associated metabolic problems. This dissertation encompasses five chapters. Chapter 1 is a literature review about the roles of reactive oxygen species in obesity and applications of antioxidants for obesity management. Chapters 2 and 3 are published research articles on obesity prevention with antioxidants. Chapter 4 summarizes the work with intention to reverse obesity and obesity-induced metabolic disorders using antioxidants. The last chapter, Chapter 5, discusses future perspectives and the remaining challenges of antioxidant-based approaches for the management of obesity.