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Effects of ultra-processed food intake in the energetic metabolism and hypothalamic signaling: a translational study

Grant number: 19/18443-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2020 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Daniela Soares Razolli
Grantee:Daniela Soares Razolli
Host Institution: Universidade São Francisco (USF). Campus Bragança Paulista. Bragança Paulista , SP, Brazil


Obesity is a multifactorial disease characterized by the excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue sufficient to promote damages to the health of the individual. Obesity reaches around 650 million people worldwide, being one of the most important clinical-epidemiological phenomena nowadays. This disease predisposes to the appearance of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, dyslipidemia and some types of cancer, impacting in the mortality rates of the population. The excessive caloric consumption has been facilitated over the years by industrialization, which results in the production of processed and ultra-processed foods, rich mainly in saturated fats and sugars. Saturated fats from the diet bind to specific receptors and activate proinflammatory signaling pathways, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and apoptosis of hypothalamic neurons that control energy homeostasis, favoring weight gain. Although the effects of saturated fat on hypothalamic signaling during obesity have been established, the effects of ultra-processed food consumption on hypothalamic inflammation and energetic homeostasis in obesity are not yet known. Thus, it is proposed to evaluate the metabolic and anthropometric changes promoted by excessive consumption of ultra-processed or unprocessed foods in humans and to evaluate the inflammatory signaling and expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides in cell lineage of mice stimulated with the serum of these humans. While pharmacological and molecular strategies are not available for treatment and prevention of diet-induced obesity, scientific diffusion will be made to ensure the importance of a balanced diet intake for improved quality of life. (AU)

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