Food Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 159–168 | Cite as

Whole grain cereal attenuates obesity-induced muscle atrophy by activating the PI3K/Akt pathway in obese C57BL/6N mice

  • Sein Lee
  • Mi-Bo Kim
  • Changhee Kim
  • Jae-Kwan HwangEmail author


Whole grain comprises starchy endosperm, germ, and bran tissues, which contain fibers, minerals, vitamins, and several phytochemicals. Whole grain cereal (WGC)-based food products supply beneficial nutrients (essential for health care) and macronutrients (essential for body maintenance and support). The present study investigated the inhibitory effect of WGC on obesity-induced muscle atrophy in obese C57BL/6N mice. WGC attenuated the body weight gain, fat pad mass, adipocyte size, food efficiency ratio, serum lipid profile, and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Furthermore, WGC increased muscle mass and muscle strength by activating the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B pathway. Accordingly, WGC up-regulated the expression of factors that regulate muscle hypertrophy and myogenesis, whereas it down-regulated the atrophy-related factors. Overall, these results demonstrate that WGC effectively attenuates obesity-induced muscle atrophy as well as overall obesity, suggesting that WGC can be used as a functional food.


Whole grain cereal Muscle atrophy Skeletal muscle mass Muscle strength Anti-obesity 



This work was supported by Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET) through High Value-added Food Technology Development Program, funded by Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) (315071-03).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sein Lee
    • 1
  • Mi-Bo Kim
    • 2
  • Changhee Kim
    • 2
  • Jae-Kwan Hwang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomaterials Science and EngineeringYonsei UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and BiotechnologyYonsei UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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