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Functional Foods and Obesity

We would like to feature the newest addition to our Functional Foods and Obesity, Volume 10 textbook. This new chapter highlights the use of functional foods and bioactive compounds in targeting the adverse metabolic and inflammatory processes associated with obesity.

A Deeper Dive into the Etiology of Obesity and Functional Foods 

Obesity is undoubtedly a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease. The comorbidities associated with obesity are numerous, including illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancers, fatty liver disease, and much more. Causes of obesity are multifactorial, involving a complex interplay between genes, metabolism, diet, physical activity, and the environment. The worldwide prevalence of obesity is substantial with more than 2 billion adults being overweight and over 600 million of them clinically obese. This is indeed a growing public health concern that needs to be addressed and if this trend continues on its current trajectory, nearly half of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Luckily, it is a largely preventable condition but if left untreated, it can lead to detrimental social and psychological consequences which affects all ages and socioeconomic groups. 

It is common knowledge that obesity may arise from an energy imbalance in which food intake exceeds energy expenditure. Managing obesity requires targeting multiple aspects and components of the energy balance system, which functional foods can help accomplish. However, the pathophysiology of obesity does involve a complex interplay of other obesogenic factors, including alterations in the signals between the central nervous system and endocrine system as well as dysfunction in lipid metabolism which may lead to hypertriglyceridemia, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Functional food products, which influence many physiological functions in the body, can be promising treatments for obesity and weight management. These naturally processed foods contain bioactive compounds that are clinically proven to provide benefits to health, well-being, and performance beyond regular nutrition alone. Countless research articles have demonstrated the efficacy of functional foods as anti-obesity agents via several mechanisms such as suppression of appetite and increasing satiety, reducing lipid absorption, enhancing thermogenesis, reversing gut dysbiosis, and much more. Although the potential of these natural products in treating obesity is under further exploration, it may serve as an excellent alternative strategy for developing more safe anti-obesity drugs. Functional foods are less likely to have side effects, since they are simply regular or fortified foods enriched with bioactive compounds. Moreover, the accessibility of functional foods may be beneficial to many individuals in vulnerable populations such as those from developing countries or lower socioeconomic status.

Details About This Chapter

This textbook chapter provides scientifically-proven information on the various functional food components, including antioxidants, dietary fibers, prebiotics, plant sterols, bioactive peptides, flavonoids, and many other phytochemicals in the management of obesity and body weight reduction. Below are the topics for our upcoming textbook Functional Foods and Obesity. Please consider writing a chapter on one of the listed topics:

PART 1. Therapeutic Effects of Bioactive Compounds Found in Plants for Managing Obesity

Chapter 1. How herbal extracts can improve lipid metabolism in obesity

Chapter 2. Effects that medicinal plants can have on proinflammatory gene expression in the liver

Chapter 3. How green tea catechins exert an anti-obesity effect

Chapter 4. The medicinal and therapeutic effects that mushroom extracts can have on managing/reducing obesity

Chapter 5. How cocoa polyphenols modulate immunoreactivity in obesity

Chapter 6. How berry anthocyanin supplementation counteract high-fat diet induced obesity

Chapter 7. The molecular mechanisms behind the anti-obesity affects of phenolic compounds

Chapter 8. The role that bioactive food ingredients can play in the prevention/alleviation of metabolic syndrome

Chapter 9. Effects of vitamin E on the metabolic profile in obesity

Part 2: Functional Foods in Managing the Microbiome

Chapter 10. How bioactive compounds affect the gut microbiota among people with obesity

Chapter 11. The role of prebiotics and probiotics in intestinal barrier function

PART 3. How Functional Foods Target Inflammatory Processes

Chapter 12. How food-derived bioactive peptides fight inflammation and manage obesity
Chapter 13. Fish oil derived omega-3 fatty acids on the downregulation of inflammatory biomarkers
Chapter 14. How Co-Q10 supplementation reduces oxidative stress and the inflammatory process in metabolic syndrome
Chapter 15. How antioxidant enriched foods fight oxidative stress induced by obesit

PART 4. Lipid Metabolism and Functional Foods

Chapter 16: The effects of dietary phytochemicals on adipose tissue growth

Chapter 17: How capsaicinoids (and its analogs) contribute to body fat reduction

Chapter 18. The association between dietary phytosterols and blood lipid levels/fat absorption

PART 5 Using Functional Foods for Glucose Regulation
Chapter 19. The effects of soluble fiber supplementation on body weight and glycemic control
Chapter 20. The effects of carotenoids on adiposity and insulin sensitivity
Chapter 21. The role that ferulic acid found in coffee has on visceral fat accumulation and glucose regulation

Special Advantages

For authors that contribute to this textbook, we will provide 3 months of access to the e-book version. In addition, each author and co-authors will get a copy of PDFs for their chapters, copy of table of content, and copy of ISBN page. Finally, publishing your chapter within this book will be free of cost!