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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2010, Article ID 367838, 8 pages
Review Article

Functional Food Targeting the Regulation of Obesity-Induced Inflammatory Responses and Pathologies

1Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 680-749, Republic of Korea

Received 9 December 2009; Accepted 8 March 2010

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2010 Shizuka Hirai 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.


Obesity is associated with a low-grade systemic chronic inflammatory state, characterized by the abnormal production of pro- and anti-inflammatory adipocytokines. It has been found that immune cells such as macrophages can infiltrate adipose tissue and are responsible for the majority of inflammatory cytokine production. Obesity-induced inflammation is considered a potential mechanism linking obesity to its related pathologies, such as insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, and some immune disorders. Therefore, targeting obesity-related inflammatory components may be a useful strategy to prevent or ameliorate the development of such obesity-related diseases. It has been shown that several food components can modulate inflammatory responses in adipose tissue via various mechanisms, some of which are dependent on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR ), whereas others are independent on PPAR , by attenuating signals of nuclear factor- B (NF- B) and/or c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). In this review, we introduce the beneficial effects of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that can help prevent obesity-induced inflammatory responses and pathologies.