Poster Topical Area: Dietary Bioactive Components

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 285

P08-027 - Flavanols from Grape Seed and Pine Bark Protect Against Obesity-Induced Adipose Inflammation

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: Flavanols are present in foods at a wide range of degrees of polymerization (DP) of the catechin monomers. Weight gain and obesity come with an increased risk for several chronic diseases, and flavanol consumption may ameliorate both obesity and the resulting effects such as inflammation. This study was designed to examine whether flavanols with different mean degrees of polymerization (mDP) have distinct impacts on markers of high-fat (HF) diet-induced metabolic syndrome when they are consumed at low doses.


Methods: Grape seed extract (GSE) and pine bark extract (PBE) with mDPs of 2.1 and 2.7 were employed. C57Bl/6J mice were given a HF diet supplemented with 35 mg/kg bw/d GSE or PBE based on crude extract weight or flavanol concentration for 13 weeks. Mice on low-fat (LF) diet and HF diet without extracts served as controls.


Results: All flavanol groups and the HF control incurred significantly higher weight gain compared to LF control. Flavanol supplementation did not prevent weight or fat gain relative to HF control. Improvements to fasting blood glucose levels were observed only in the PBE group dosed on flavanol concentration after 10 weeks but in both PBE groups after 11 weeks. All treatment groups exhibited significantly lower adipose levels of IL-6 compared to HF control, regardless of mDP and despite the significantly higher weight gain compared to controls. Most notable was the GSE supplemented group, which had the lowest IL-6 levels but the highest overall weight gain. Similar trends were observed in TNF-α levels, but the PBE groups demonstrated a greater cytokine-lowering effect. These findings suggest that flavanols may prevent against obesity-associated inflammation without concurrent physiological improvements.


Conclusions: Flavanol supplementation was not able to prevent weight gain regardless of mDP. Despite the lack of physiological improvements, flavanols were able to reduce inflammatory cytokine production, which is typically associated with other metabolic derangements. Larger flavanols may be more effective as they demonstrated the ability to reduce inflammatory cytokines and prevent derangement to fasting blood glucose.




Funding Source: Funding for this work was provided, in part, by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Fralin Life Science Institute Exploratory Grant and by the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and the Hatch Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

CoAuthors: Dane Fausnacht – Virginia Tech; Jessica Tuzo – Virginia Tech; Adele Addington – Virginia Tech; Katherine Racine – Virginia Tech; Haiyan Zhang – Virginia Tech; Michael Hughes – Virginia Tech; Sean O'Keefe – Virginia Tech; Andrew Neilson – Virginia; Amanda Stewart – Virginia Tech

Laura E. Griffin

Graduate student
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia