Fat is an important macronutrient. It provides substrates for energy turnover, is an integral part of biological membranes and regulates gene expression (Jump et al. 2005). In the Western world dietary fats constitute about 40% of human energy intake (Mu and Hoy 2004), and several studies have revealed a positive relationship between the level of fat intake and body weight in humans (Bray and Popkin 1998; Astrup et al. 2000; Saris et al. 2000; Satia-Abouta et al. 2002; Huot et al. 2004; Mosca et al. 2004). High-fat diets may increase the obesity risk because of: (a) the usually high energy density of such diets (Rolls 2000; Westerterp-Plantenga 2001), (b) the often high palatability of fat-rich foods (Drewnowski 1998) and (c) the finding that fats seem to have a lower short-term satiating capacity than carbohydrates [for review see Blundell and Stubbs (1999)].
Obesity is now a global health problem of epidemic proportions. Worldwide more than 1.1 billion adults and 10% of all children are currently classified as overweight or obese (Haslam and James 2005). Although the important contribution of high fat intake to the development of obesity is widely accepted, it is also clear that fat cannot be the only culprit [for review see Willett (1998)]. The tremendous increase in obesity is - in addition to a high fat intake - related to genetic susceptibility and decreased physical activity (Kopelman 2000). Obesity is a major risk for chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and different forms of cancer (Kopelman 2000; Haslam and James 2005).
This review focuses on lipid metabolism including de novo lipogenesis (DNL), and on the role of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ.
Pharmacological and dietary substances that inhibit fatty acid synthesis are presented and their potential for the treatment of obesity is discussed.
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A time for giving and receiving, getting closer with the ones we love and marking the end of another year and all the eating also. We eat because the food is yummy and plentiful but we don't usually count calories at this time of year. This book will help you do just this.