Effects of long-term oral nitrate administration on adiposity in normal adult female rats

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Introduction:Nitric oxide (NO) deficiency is associated with obesity. Nitrate could act as a substrate for production of NO and is a novel therapeutic agent in obesity. This study aims at determining effects of long-term nitrate administration on obesity indices in normal adult female rats.Methods:Female Wistar rats were divided into four groups (n = 10/each): i.e. control group received tap water and three treatment groups received water containing 50, 100 and 150 mg/L sodium nitrate for 6 months. Body weight (g) was measured monthly; naso-anal length (cm) and obesity indices including body mass index (BMI), Lee index, abdominal and thoracic circumferences were determined every two months. Both white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) were weighted and then adiposity index was calculated. In addition, level of NOx (nitrate + nitrite) in serum and adipose tissues were measured at the end of the study.Results:Compared to controls, body weights and naso-anal length were significantly (P < 0.001) lower in all nitrate-treated rats. Compared to controls, nitrate-treated rats had also lower adiposity indices, BMI, Lee index, abdominal and thoracic circumferences (13%, 17% and 22% for BMI and 5%, 6% and 8% for lee index at dose 50, 100, and 150 mg/L, respectively). In addition, nitrate administration increased NOx levels in serum and adipose tissues.Conclusions:Long-term nitrate administration has favorable effects on adiposity. It increases brown and decreases white adipose tissues in normal female rats; these observations could potentially help in management of obesity.Graphical abstract

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