Validation of dietary supplements for weight loss. Dietary supplements are marketed for the weight management of obesity, but for most supplements there is little experimental evidence to support their use as an agent for healthy weight loss. Using rodent models, my lab uses an interdisciplinary approach to determine the mechanism of action and off target effects of dietary supplements promoting weight loss or appetite suppression. Recent work from our laboratory has examined raspberry ketone [4-(p-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone], which is naturally derived from the fruit of red raspberries (Rubus idaeus). The overall objective of our research is to determine the mechanisms of action by which raspberry ketone prevents the metabolic consequences of diet-induced obesity. In addition, we also examine the possible toxicological endpoints associated with raspberry ketone and biological metabolites.
Attentional and arousal processes of binge-like eating. Overeating episodes are sometimes accompanied by a feeling of a loss of control over what or how much is being consumed. A 'loss of control' is a core subjective component of binge eating with a clinically diagnosed eating disorder or other eating pathologies. Our laboratory uses rodent models to determine the dietary consequences of aberrant eating behaviors on the neural controls of feeding. In particular, it has been demonstrated that brain norepinephrine (NE) is involved in vigilance, arousal, and attentional focus. Based on what is known about the anatomy, physiology, and function of the dorsal noradrenergic pathway, we hypothesize that dysregulation of brain NE neurons and associated pathways are involved in dietary induced overeating. Attentional and arousal pathway dysregulation is likely to be involved in the subjective feeling of a 'loss of control' involved in binge eating.
|Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Penn State University College of Medicine
|Laboratory Animal Sciences
Drexel University College of Medicine
Penn State University