About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 897894, 7 pages
Review Article

Treatment of Obesity-Related Complications with Novel Classes of Naturally Occurring PPAR Agonists

Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

Received 27 April 2010; Revised 25 July 2010; Accepted 2 December 2010

Academic Editor: Luc F. Van Gaal

Copyright © 2011 Josep Bassaganya-Riera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of obesity and its associated comorbidities has grown to epidemic proportions in the US and worldwide. Thus, developing safe and effective therapeutic approaches against these widespread and debilitating diseases is important and timely. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) α, γ, and δ through several classes of pharmaceuticals can prevent or treat a variety of metabolic and inflammatory diseases, including type II diabetes (T2D). Thus, PPARs represent important molecular targets for developing novel and better treatments for a wide range of debilitating and widespread obesity-related diseases and disorders. However, available PPAR γ agonistic drugs such as Avandia have significant adverse side effects, including weight gain, fluid retention, hepatotoxicity, and congestive heart failure. An alternative to synthetic agonists of PPAR γ is the discovery and development of naturally occurring and safer nutraceuticals that may be dual or pan PPAR agonists. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the health effects of three plant-derived PPAR agonists: abscisic acid (ABA), punicic acid (PUA), and catalpic acid (CAA) in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and metabolic diseases and disorders.