Recent advances in molecular biology combined with the wealth of information generated by the Human Genome Project have fostered the emergence of nutrigenomics, a new discipline in the field of nutritional research. Nutrigenomics may provide the strategies for the development of safe and effective dietary interventions against the obesity epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, more than 60% of the global disease burden will be attributed to chronic disorders associated with obesity by 2020. Meanwhile in the US, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in adults and tripled in children during the past three decades. In this regard, a number of natural dietary supplements and micronutrients have been studied for their potential in weight management. Among these supplements, ( – )-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a natural extract isolated from the dried fruit rind of Garcinia cambogia, and the micronutrient niacin-bound chromium(III) (NBC) have been shown to be safe and efficacious for weight loss. Utilizing cDNA microarrays, we demonstrated for the first time that HCA-supplementation altered the expression of genes involved in lipolytic and adipogenic pathways in adipocytes from obese women and up-regulated the expression of serotonin receptor gene in the abdominal fat of rats. Similarly, we showed that NBC-supplementation up-regulated the expression of myogenic genes while suppressed the expression of genes that are highly expressed in brown adipose tissue in diabetic obese mice. The potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed beneficial effects of these supplements as elucidated by the state-of-theart nutrigenomic technologies will be systematically discussed in this review.
Keywords: Insulin resistance, glucose tolerance factor, supplemental chromium, Garcinia cambogia, (-)-hydroxycitric acid, overweight, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nutritional interventions
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