About this Research Topic
Nutritional insecurity is the biggest concern worldwide. It has two extremes, one is malnutrition/undernutrition and other is overnutrition/obesity and slowly but steadily both are gripping our world depending on geographical and economic status. According to WHO’s, The World Health Statistics, non-communicable diseases (obesity, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer etc) are the prime cause of huge manual and economic losses. Obesity is invariably associated with other metabolic complications like type 2 diabetes, cardiac complications and certain type of cancers. Current anti-obesity medications are pharmacological agents which can reduce or control weight and weight gain. These drugs affect one of the fundamental processes of the weight regulation in human body i.e. altering appetite, metabolism, or consumption of calories. The potential side effects (increased cardiovascular concerns, stroke, suicidality and depression) of these drugs drastically outnumber their beneficial effects. There are many anti-obesity medications in the drug development pipeline, including co-agonists for multiple gut hormones including glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), glucagon and gastric inhibitory peptide. The GLP-1 analogue, liraglutide, has shown its anti-obesity effects in many clinical trials, but it needs to be injected subcutaneously daily and is very expensive.
There is a long way to go before we will be able to establish efficient and safe long-term therapies with these novel agents. The experience with anti-obesity drugs has produced well-founded cynicism about new drugs. Given the rapid development and major risks of the current obesity epidemic, how long can we wait for effective and safe treatments?
Over the years it has been seen that the best and most effective options for overweight and obese individuals remain diet and physical exercise. It is important to have dietary regulations to prevent life style problems rather than to search for pharmacological treatment for prevention of HFD-induced metabolic, redox stature and immune-related alterations. Extensive research has been focussed on development and efficacy studies related to food and dietary constituents, natural products and extracts from natural sources, whole food and food preparations and fermented foods against diet induced obesity models. But the primary question remains to be answered is “What is the mechanism of these foods and products?”. Understanding this will enable us to communicate the advantages of these to vast population.
The present Research Topic in Frontiers in Nutrition is focused on the mechanisms (molecular, biochemical, gut microbiota modulatory, nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics, chemical) of these foods/diet and constituents and natural products/extracts. This will also include studies related to metabolites production, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of these agents, novel delivery systems including encapsulation and nano -delivery, bioinformatics approaches.
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