Do Health Promoting Compounds of Flaxseed Attenuate Weight Gain Via Modulation of Obesity Gene Expression?


Diet-induced obesity (DIO) has been shown to increase DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) expression and DNMTs binding at obesity-associated genes. Natural compounds have the potential to reverse obesity-associated gene expression via the regulation of DNA methylation. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of health promoting compounds of flaxseed on DNMTs and obesity-associated gene expression and weight gain. Sixty C57BL/6J male mice were randomly assigned into one of the following diet groups and fed for eight weeks: 45% kcal fat; 45% kcal fat+10% whole flaxseed; 45% kcal fat+6% defatted flaxseed; 45% kcal fat+4% flaxseed oil; and 16% kcal fat. DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b, leptin, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α expressions in adipose and muscle tissues were determined by real-time PCR. The health promoting compounds of flaxseed affected selected gene expression and attenuated weight gain. Further research is needed to identify the specific mechanisms modulating leptin or PPAR-α expression during DIO development.

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The authors thank Curt Doetkott and Qian Wen for the assistance with statistical analysis and Drs. Katie Reindl and Shireen Chikara for assistance in RT-qPCR techniques.

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Correspondence to Y. Rhee.

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The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests. This study was supported by grants from North Dakota State University College of Human Sciences and Education and the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences.

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Evenocheck, A., Rhee, Y. & Hall, C. Do Health Promoting Compounds of Flaxseed Attenuate Weight Gain Via Modulation of Obesity Gene Expression?. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 75, 441–445 (2020).

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  • DNMT
  • Flaxseed
  • Leptin
  • PPAR-α