To clarify the effects of natural dietary components on the metabolic consequences of obesity, we examined the effects of yerba mate extract Ilex paraguariensis on both central and peripheral inflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity and correlated the hypothalamic tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α level with adipose depot weight. Wistar rats were divided into four groups: a control group (CTL) fed with chow diet, a second group fed with chow diet plus yerba mate extract (CTL+E), a third group fed with a high-fat diet rich in saturated fatty acids (HFD) and a fourth group fed with HFD plus yerba mate extract (HFD+E). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blotting, colorimetric method and treatment by gavage were utilized as materials and methods. The HFD groups showed a significant increase in food intake (kcal), body weight, adipose tissue and leptin level in comparison to CTL and CTL+E. HFD leads to increase of both central and peripheral inflammatory effects, and deregulation of insulin pathway. In addition, yerba mate extract intake blunted the proinflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity in rats by reducing the phosphorylation of hypothalamic IKK and NFκBp65 expression and increasing the phosphorylation of IκBα, the expression of adiponectin receptor-1 and consequently the amount of IRS-2. Moreover, the increase in interleukin (IL)-6 levels in the liver and muscle and of the IL-10/TNF-α ratio in groups that received yerba mate extract showed the anti-inflammatory effects of this natural substance. Taken together, our data suggest that the use of yerba mate extract may be useful for reducing low-grade obesity-associated inflammation.
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