Adipose tissue failure and mitochondria as a possible target for improvement by bioactive food components

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Purpose of review: Adipose tissue is an essential, highly dynamic and metabolically active tissue that vigorously communicates to support its primary function: the storage of lipids. It performs this function to secure energy supply and prevent lipotoxicity. Adipose tissue is essential for maintaining a healthy glucose and lipid homeostasis and failure results in disease. This review discusses causes of adipose tissue failure and four categories of bioactive food components that may help to prevent this. Recent findings: Based on recent findings, it is argued that initial adipose failure following long-term excess energy intake may be the result of reduced mitochondrial capacity associated with altered mitochondrial reactive oxygen species signaling and adipose tissue hypoxia. Current data suggest that different classes of bioactive food components, including vitamin B3, retinoids, fatty acids and polyphenols, may have the potential to modulate mitochondrial function and consequently prevent adipose dysfunction in obesity. Summary: It seems most attractive to aim nutritional intervention at the prevention of initial adipose dysfunction and hence to target dietary intervention at improvement of mitochondrial function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Lipidology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • polyunsaturated fatty-acids
  • conjugated linoleic-acid
  • diet-induced obesity
  • mechanisms linking obesity
  • activated receptor-gamma
  • hypoxia-inducible factor
  • union-of-pharmacology
  • metabolic syndrome
  • ppar-gamma
  • insulin-resistance


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