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Abigail TurpynMacromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences (MILES) IGERT
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburg, VA
Investigating the effect of diet composition on oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight and obese individuals.
The negative consequences of obesity and the health benefits of weight loss are widely reported. Recent research also clarifies that obesity is associated with inflammation, a factor that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Less is known however about the effects of composition of the weight loss diet on inflammation. Fall 2003, we compared two dietary approaches that differed in macronutrient composition to examine their effects on inflammation and oxidative stress in overweight women. The Atkins diet was used as a representative high fat diet (HF), while a modified version of the American Heart Association was the model low fat (LF) diet. Results indicated that there were differential effects (p=0.04) on levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a measure of systemic inflammation that has been touted as a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease. It was hypothesized that this increase in CRP was due to an increase in oxidative stress on the HF diet. An increase in oxidative stress could be due to an imbalance between dietary antioxidants (decreased consumption of antioxidant containing foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and increased production of reactive oxygen species. A follow up study in overweight men and women revealed that antioxidant supplementation (AS, 1g Vit C, 800IU Vit E) tended to attenuated the increase in CRP for individuals versus a placebo (PL) while consuming HF for one week (-32% AS and +50% PL, p=0.119). The marker of oxidative stress (urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F2-alpha) used in these two studies did not change for any groups so failed to provide evidence for a tie between the inflammation observed and an oxidative stress mechanism. As There is much debate as to which marker is most representative of oxidative stress in vivo, future analyses will be done using additional measures of oxidative stress (e.g. serum 8-epi-prostaglandin F2-alpha or markers of DNA damage). Future projects will likely involve using whole foods in an attempt to prevent increases in CRP during consumption of popular high fat, low antioxidant diets and further elucidate the mechanism by which this pathology arises.Click here to edit your profile