Nutrients, Vol. 13, Pages 3607: Protective Effects of Individual and Combined Low Dose Beta-Carotene and Metformin Treatments against High-Fat Diet-Induced Responses in Mice
Nutrients doi: 10.3390/nu13103607
Anti-obesity activity has been reported for beta-carotene (BC) supplementation at high doses and metformin (MET). We studied whether BC treatment at a closer to dietary dose and MET treatment at a lower than therapeutic dose are effective in ameliorating unwanted effects of an obesogenic diet and whether their combination is advantageous. Obesity-prone mice were challenged with a high-fat diet (HFD, 45% energy as fat) for 4 weeks while receiving a placebo or being treated orally with BC (3 mg/kg/day), MET (100 mg/kg/day), or their combination (BC+MET); a fifth group received a placebo and was kept on a normal-fat diet (10% energy as fat). HFD-induced increases in body weight gain and inguinal white adipose tissue (WAT) adipocyte size were attenuated maximally or selectively in the BC+MET group, in which a redistribution towards smaller adipocytes was noted. Cumulative energy intake was unaffected, yet results suggested increased systemic energy expenditure and brown adipose tissue activation in the treated groups. Unwanted effects of HFD on glucose control and insulin sensitivity were attenuated in the treated groups, especially BC and BC+MET, in which hepatic lipid content was also decreased. Transcriptional analyses suggested effects on skeletal muscle and WAT metabolism could contribute to better responses to the HFD, especially in the MET and BC+MET groups. The results support the benefits of the BC+MET cotreatment.
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