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Body Weight and Abdominal Fat Gene Expression Profile in Response to a Novel Hydroxycitric Acid-Based Dietary Supplement

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Obesity is a global public health problem, with about 315 million people worldwide estimated to fall into the WHO-defined obesity categories. Traditional herbal medicines may have some potential in managing obesity. Botanical dietary supplements often contain complex mixtures of phytochemicals that have additive or synergistic interactions. The dried fruit rind of Garcinia cambogia, also known as Malabar tamarind, is a unique source of (−)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which exhibits a distinct sour taste and has been safely used for centuries in Southeastern Asia to make meals more filling. Recently it has been demonstrated that HCA-SX or Super Citrimax, a novel derivative of HCA, is safe when taken orally and that HCA-SX is bioavailable in the human plasma as studied by GC-MS. Although HCA-SX has been observed to be conditionally effective in weight management in experimental animals as well as in humans, its mechanism of action remains to be understood. We sought to determine the effects of low-dose oral HCA-SX on the body weight and abdominal fat gene expression profile of Sprague-Dawley rats. We observed that at doses relevant for human consumption dietary HCA-SX significantly contained body weight growth. This response was associated with lowered abdominal fat leptin expression while plasma leptin levels remained unaffected. Repeated high-density microarray analysis of 9960 genes and ESTs present in the fat tissue identified a small set (∼1% of all genes screened) of specific genes sensitive to dietary HCA-SX. Other genes, including vital genes transcribing for mitochondrial/nuclear proteins and which are necessary for fundamental support of the tissue, were not affected by HCA-SX. Under the current experimental conditions, HCA-SX proved to be effective in restricting body weight gain in adult rats. Functional characterization of HCA-SX-sensitive genes revealed that upregulation of genes encoding serotonin receptors represent a distinct effect of dietary HCA-SX supplementation.
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Keywords: Herbal; Leptin; Obesity; Rat; Serotonin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210 2: †School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68178

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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