An Avocado Extract Enriched in Mannoheptulose Prevents the Negative Effects of a High-Fat Diet in Mice

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Beginning at 16 weeks of age and continuing for 44 weeks, male C57BL/6J were fed either a control (CON) diet; a high-fat (HF) diet (60% unsaturated); or the HF diet containing an extract of unripe avocados (AvX) enriched in the 7-carbon sugar mannoheptulose (MH), designed to act as a glycolytic inhibitor (HF + MH). Compared to the CON diet, mice on the HF diet exhibited higher body weights; body fat; blood lipids; and leptin with reduced adiponectin levels, insulin sensitivity, VO2max, and falls from a rotarod. Mice on the HF + MH diet were completely protected against these changes in the absence of significant diet effects on food intake. Compared to the CON diet, oxidative stress was also increased by the HF diet indicated by higher levels of total reactive oxygen species, superoxide, and peroxynitrite measured in liver samples by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, whereas the HF + MH diet attenuated these changes. Compared to the CON, the HF diet increased signaling in the mechanistic target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and the addition of the MH-enriched AvX to this diet attenuated these changes. Beyond generating further interest in the health benefits of avocados, these results draw further new attention to the effects of this rare sugar, MH, as a botanical intervention for preventing obesity.

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