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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 5P50AT002776-02
Project Title: Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome

Abstract: This application is for a Dietary Supplement Research Center focusing on Botanicals, The application is a collaborative effort between the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University (LSU) system and the Center of Agriculture and the Environment of Rutgers University. The theme of the Center is "Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome". The "metabolic syndrome" defines a human condition whose major features consist of obesity, insulin resistance, development of Type 2 diabetes and accelerated cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome represents one of the most important public health problems facing our society today as the prevalence is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. Our Botanical Research Center will consist of three (3) specific research projects, an animal research core, a botanical core and an administrative core. Each of the research projects evaluates a specific botanical and assesses the effect on cellular mechanisms proposed to contribute to the pathophysiology and development of the metabolic syndrome. The research aims of the projects span both the basic and clinical sciences. Investigators in Project 1 will follow-up on data suggesting that an extract of Russian Tarragon (PMI 5011) enhances insulin action and will conduct detailed molecular and cellular determinants of insulin, sensitivity (i.e. cellular signaling) in both animal and in early human studies. In Project 2, investigators have demonstrated that Shilianhua (SLH) has an effect to attenuate diet-induced obesity and propose to further characterize the metabolic activity, mechanism of action and bioactive compounds of SLH. Investigators in Project 3 hypothesize that anthocyanins, through modulation of the activities of specific nuclear hormone receptors, increase the peripheral oxidation of fatty acids and thereby decrease ectopic fat accumulation in muscle and liver and improve insulin sensitivity. Thus, the key scientific goal of this BRC application is the pursuit of an understanding of the cellular mechanisms by which botanicals may prevent or reverse insulin resistance, obesity and other components of the metabolic syndrome. Attainment of our goal will not only allow for specific investigation into the underlying mechanisms of this condition, but will provide the necessary data for future clinical trials designed to evaluate the effect of botanicals to intervene in the process.

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