Essay about Anti-Obesity Effects of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

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Anti-obesity effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids

Introduction
In recent years, obesity has become a significant health problem in industrialized countries such as the United States. Obesity is strongly associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure. The World Health Organization has defined obesity as one of the top ten global health problems. High-fat diets containing large amounts of saturated fat and low amounts of unsaturated fat, may directly increase the prevalence of obesity (Li, 2008). Research studies have suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids have an influence on body adiposity, and may exert “anti-obesity” effects
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These fish oils are not produced in humans, but are not considered essential; although they take part in important functions such as in cell membranes, gene interactions, and others (Williams, 2009). For example, omega 3 fatty acid supplementation containing DHA has been observed to lessen the inflammatory component of several chronic diseases (Browning 2003; Calder 2006). The cardioprotective effects of supplementing DHA and EPA are well documented; they have been shown to reduce total serum triacylglycerol concentrations, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and inflammation (Breslow 2006; Richter 2003).
Far fewer studies have focused on the “anti-obesity” effects of DHA and EPA. However, these studies have reported enhanced lipid oxidation, increased thermogenesis, prevention of free fatty acids from entering adipocytes for lipogenesis, as well as other potential “anti-obesity” effects (Li, 2008).

Underlying Mechanisms of Anti-Obesity Effects of PUFA
PUFA decrease energy intake and/or increase energy expenditure
The body’s ability to maintain a balance between energy intake and output is controlled by multiple complex systems and imbalance of this system leads to metabolic symptoms such as obesity. Obesity normally occurs when energy intake exceeds energy output (Hanbauer et al 2009). It has been shown that overtime appetite is stimulated when there is a decrease in the circulating level of fat metabolizing products. An individual’s
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