Set of our papers regarding novel possibilities of the use of sea fish lipids for prevention and treatment of obesity and associated disorders was included on the list of most significant results of Czech Academy of Sciences in 2009. Our later article dedicated to the combination of omega-3 and mild calorie restriction was included on the same list in 2011. Furthermore, our results describing the changes in adipose tissue metabolism during cold exposure and their relevance to susceptibility to obesity were listed among the best achievements of the Czech Academy of Sciences in 2017.
Comment to papers awarded in year 2009
Mechanisms, by which omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3) from sea fish ameliorate health problems associated with excessive accumulation of body fat, are systematically studied at the Department of Adipose Tissue Biology of the Institute of Physiology AS CR. In the experiments on mice, the authors demonstrated that dietary intake of omega-3 results in: 1) a partial protection against obesity induced by high-fat diet; 2) induction of mitochondria and lipid oxidation specifically in adipose tissue and small intestine, while reducing ectopic fat deposition in other tissues and lipotoxicity; 3) induction of the release of insulin-sensitizing hormone adiponectin from adipose tissue. New chemical derivatives of n-3 PUFA were developed, which exert strong antidiabetic efects. In spite of the fact that omega-3 could not affect insulin resistance in diabetic patients, it was discovered, that omega-3 augment efficacy of thiazolidinediones (TZD), drugs improving insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. Only the combination treatment reduced accumulation of body fat. The improvement in insulin sensitivity reflected synergistic effects of omega-3 and TZD on muscle glucose metabolism. The combination treatment by n-3 PUFA and TZD may allow for reducing both the dose requirements and cost of the TZD therapy, and it may also reduce the incidence of adverse side-effects of the therapy. The new treatment is already tested at the Centre of Diabetology at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague. Most of the research was performed in collaboration with companies in Norway (i.e., the PronovaBiopharma a.s., Lysaker; and more recently with EPAX a.s., Aaalesund). These results were listed among other the most important scientific achievements of the CAS - see the Annual Report of the CAS for 2009.
Comment to paper awarded in year 2011
The effects of combination treatment using omega-3 and mild calorie restriction were characterized on the model of dietary-obese mice fed by high fat diet. Replacement of 10% dietary lipids by omega-3 together with 10% calorie restriction prevent weight gain and insulin resistance, despite the fact that omega-3 or calorie restriction alone cannot counteract induction of obesity. Combination treatment reduced significantly whole-body inflammation, which is connected to obesity. The crucial consequences of the combination treatment were metabolic changes in adipose tissue and production of anti-inflammatory lipid mediators. The results are important for development of novel strategies in prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes, eventually other disorders related to chronic inflammation, such as some neurodegenerative and gastrointestinal diseases. (Flachs P et al. 2011. Diabetologia 54:2626-38)
Comment to paper awarded in year 2017
The effects of cold exposure (6 °C for 2 or 7 days) on adipose tissue metabolism were compared in obesity prone C57BL/6J and obesity-resistant A/J mice. The main novel results were that triacylglycerol/fatty acid cycling and de novo lipogenesis in adipose tissue, as well as hepatic lipoprotein production, are integrated to provide energy fuels for thermogenesis and thus could contribute to lean phenotype. The results are important for understanding the mechanisms underlying obesity development. (Flachs et al., Int J Obes (Lond) 41: 372-380)