Serum metabolomics reveals the mechanistic role of functional foods and exercise for obesity management in rats

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HighlightsGC/MS was applied for metabolites profiling in obese rats.Several functional foods were assessed for their anti-obese effects.Obesity biomarkers were analyzed using enzyme based assays.Several novel biomarkers for obesity were revealed using chemometrics.Obesity is one of the independent risk factors for several health problems, leading to metabolic perturbations and for which analytical approaches i.e., “metabolomics” is needed to monitor the underlying metabolic changes. In this study, obesity associated changes were assessed via serum metabolites analysis of obese rats fed on high fat diet. Obese rats were subsequently treated with different functional foods used for obesity management including pomegranate, grapefruit, and red cabbage in parallel to swimming exercise. Serum samples were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) followed by multivariate data analysis to classify samples and determine if such treatments can help revert obesity related metabolic changes back to normal status. Results led to the identification of several novel metabolites biomarkers for obesity related to lipids, amino acids and central tricarboxylic acid (TCA) pathways. Distinct variations in metabolite levels were recorded in obese rats compared to normal ones including l-aspartic, l-alanine, l-glutamine, l-glycine, phenylethanolamine, α-aminobutyric acid and β-hydroxybutyric acid. Metabolomics approach developed herein provides novel insight onto the metabolic disturbances associated with obesity, which will assist in future drug design that can help mitigate against such changes.

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