Deuterium-Depleted Water as Adjuvant Therapeutic Agent for Treatment of Diet-Induced Obesity in Rats

Molecules. 2019 Dec 19;25(1):23. doi: 10.3390/molecules25010023.


In this study, we present the potential application of deuterium-depleted water (DDW) for the prevention and adjuvant treatment of obesity in rats. We tested the hypothesis that DDW can alleviate diet-induced obesity (DIO) and its associated metabolic impairments. Rats fed a high-fat diet had an increased body weight index (BWI), glucose concentration, and level of certain proinflammatory cytokines; decreased levels of insulin in the serum; decreased tryptophan and serotonin in the brain, and a decreased concentration of some heavy metals in the liver. Drinking DDW at a concentration of 10 ppm deuterium/protium (D/H) ad libitum for 3 weeks restored the BWI, glucose (serum), tryptophan (brain), and serotonin (brain) levels and concentration of Zn in the liver in the DIO animals to those of the controls. The levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IFNγ) and anti-inflammatory TNFα were decreased in DIO rats, while anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-4, IL-10) levels remained at the control levels, which is indicative of a pathophysiological syndrome. In contrast, in groups of rats treated with DDW, a significant increase in anti-inflammatory (IL-4, IL-10) and proinflammatory cytokines (IFNγ) was observed. This finding indicates a reduction in systemic inflammation in obese animals treated with DDW. Similarly, the high-fat diet caused an increased level of oxidative stress products, which was accompanied by decreased activity of both superoxide dismutase and catalase, whereas the administration of DDW decreased the level of oxidative stress and enhanced antioxidant enzyme activities.

Keywords: body weight index; cytokines; deuterium-depleted water; diet-induced obesity; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Deuterium / chemistry
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Obesity / chemically induced
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Tryptophan / metabolism
  • Water / administration & dosage*
  • Water / pharmacology


  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Water
  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan
  • Deuterium