Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Nutritional Sciences

Major Professor

Ahmed Bettaieb

Committee Members

Jay Whelan, Dallas Donohoe, Ahmed Bettaieb


Obesity is a global health concern that directly correlates with significant health consequences. Obesity is caused by excessive energy consumption and can lead to an increased mortality rate through a variety of comorbidities making therapeutic and preventative approaches to these conditions of top interest to health professionals. Type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, as well as other physiological disorders like liver dysfunction, musculoskeletal and respiratory disorders, and cancer all have shown a close correlation with BMI and prevalence of increased body weight. While current medications do exist to help combat the body’s autoimmune defenses in such diseases, the safety of these medications is often disputed. On the other hand, a growing body of evidence suggest that phytochemicals are potentially able to delay the onset and the progression of obesity and its complications primarily because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.Zyflamend, a polyphenol herbal supplement, includes numerous different herbal extracts that exhibit phytochemical qualities145. Containing the herbs ginger, rosemary, turmeric, Chinese goldthread, holy basil, Hu Zhang, barberry, oregano, green tea and basil skullcap, Zyflamend has been used classically as a medicinal anti-inflammatory agent. In multiple studies, the components of Zyflamend have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, potentially through synergistic mechanisms. Although these mechanisms are not well understood, these studies point to potential influence over genes influencing AMPK and energy homeostasis. In this study, we examined the effects of Zyflamend on adipose tissue and adipocyte differentiation in vitro as a means of investigating its relevance in metabolic diseases.

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