Metabolic syndrome is defined as a set of coexisting metabolic disorders that increase an individual’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Medicinal plants, some of which have been used for thousands of years, serve as an excellent source of bioactive compounds for the treatment of metabolic syndrome because they contain a wide range of phytochemicals with diverse metabolic effects. In order for botanicals to be effectively used against metabolic syndrome, however, botanical preparations must be characterized and standardized through the identification of their active compounds and respective modes of action, followed by validation in controlled clinical trials with clearly defined endpoints. This review assesses examples of commonly known and partially characterized botanicals to describe specific considerations for the phytochemical, preclinical and clinical characterization of botanicals associated with metabolic syndrome.
Botanical; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; hypertension; insulin resistance; phytochemical; obesity
Adipose tissue development and function are widely studied to examine the relationship between obesity and the metabolic syndrome. It is well documented that the inability of adipose tissue to properly increase its lipid storage capacity during the obese state can lead to metabolic dysfunction. In a blind screen of 425 botanicals, we identified naringenin as an inhibitor of adipocyte differentiation. Naringenin is one of the most abundant citrus flavonoids, and recent studies have demonstrated antihyperlipidemic capabilities. These studies have largely focused on the effects of naringenin on the liver. Our biochemical studies clearly demonstrate that naringenin inhibits adipogenesis and impairs mature fat cell function. Naringenin specifically inhibited adipogenesis in a dose-dependent fashion as judged by examining lipid accumulation and induction of adipocyte marker protein expression. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, naringenin reduced the ability of insulin to induce IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and substantially inhibited insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in a dose-dependent manner and over a time frame of 1.5 to 24 hours. Exposure to naringenin also inhibited adiponectin protein expression in mature murine and human adipocytes. Our studies have revealed that naringenin may have a negative impact on adipocyte-related diseases by limiting differentiation of preadipocytes, by significantly inducing insulin resistance, and by decreasing adiponectin expression in mature fat cells.
Insulin resistance is a major pathophysiologic abnormality that characterizes metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. A well characterized ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L., termed PMI 5011, has been shown to improve insulin action in vitro and in vivo, but the cellular mechanisms remain elusive. Using differential proteomics, we have studied mechanisms by which PMI 5011 enhances insulin action in primary human skeletal muscle culture obtained by biopsy from obese, insulin-resistant individuals. Using iTRAQ™ labeling and LC-MS/MS, we have identified over 200 differentially regulated proteins due to treatment with PMI 5011 and insulin stimulation. Bioinformatics analyses determined that several metabolic pathways related to glycolysis, glucose transport and cell signaling were highly represented and differentially regulated in the presence of PMI 5011 indicating that this extract affects several pathways modulating carbohydrate metabolism, including translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. These findings provide a molecular mechanism by which a botanical extract improves insulin stimulated glucose uptake, transport and metabolism at the cellular level resulting in enhanced whole body insulin sensitivity.
botanicals; insulin resistance; iTRAQ; proteomics; skeletal muscle; glucose transporter 4
Two different strategies for investigating the likely fate, after ingestion, of natural, bioactive berry constituents (anthocyanins and other non-nutritive flavonoids) are compared. A model of the human gastrointestinal tract (TIM-1) which mimicked the biological environment from the point of swallowing and ingestion through the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (but not the colon) was used to monitor the stability and bioaccessibility of anthocyanins from both maqui berry and wild blueberry. TIM-1 revealed that most anthocyanins were bioaccessible between the second and third hour after intake. Alternatively, biolabeled anthocyanins and other flavonoids generated in vitro from berry and grape cell cultures were administered to in vivo (rodent) models, allowing measurement and tracking of the absorption and transport of berry constituents and clearance through the urinary tract and colon. The advantages and limitations of the alternative strategies are considered.
bioavailability; bioaccessibility; radiolabeling; artificial gastrointestinal tract
Plant extracts continue to represent an untapped source of renewable therapeutic compounds for the treatment and prevention of illnesses including chronic metabolic disorders. With the increase in worldwide obesity and its related morbidities, the need for identifying safe and effective treatments is also rising. As such, use of primary human adipose-derived stem cells represents a physiologically relevant cell system to screen for bioactive agents in the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related complications. By using these cells in a primary screen, the risk and cost of identifying artifacts due to interspecies variation and immortalized cell lines is eliminated. We demonstrate that these cells can be formatted into 384-well high throughput screens to rapidly identify botanical extracts that affect lipogenesis and lipolysis. Additionally, counterscreening with human primary stem cells from distinct adipose depots can be routinely performed to identify tissue specific responses. In our study, over 500 botanical extracts were screened and 16 (2.7%) were found to affect lipogenesis and 4 (0.7%) affected lipolysis.
Adipogenesis; Adipose-derived Stem Cells; Botanical Extracts; Lipogenesis; Lipolysis; Subcutaneous; Visceral
Adipocytes are insulin-sensitive cells that play a major role in energy homeostasis. Obesity is the primary disease of fat cells and a major risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. The use of botanicals in the treatment of metabolic diseases is an emerging area of research. In previous studies, we screened over 425 botanical extracts for their ability to modulate adipogenesis and insulin sensitivity. We identified St. John’s Wort (SJW) extracts as inhibitors of adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells and demonstrated that these extracts also inhibited insulin-sensitive glucose uptake in mature fat cells. In these follow-up studies we have further characterized the effects of SJW on insulin action in both murine and human fat cells. We have shown that SJW also attenuates insulin-sensitive glucose uptake in human adipocytes. Moreover, SJW inhibits IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in both murine and human fat cells. Botanical extracts are complex mixtures. Many bioactive compounds have been identified in SJW, including hypericin (HI) and hyperforin (HF). We have examined the ability of HI and HF, purified from SJW, to modulate adipocyte development and insulin action in mature adipocytes. Our novel studies indicate that the profound effects of SJW on adipogenesis, IRS-1 activation, and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake are not mediated by HI and/or HF. Nonetheless, we propose that extracts of SJW may contribute to adipocyte related diseases by limiting differentiation of preadipocytes and significantly inducing insulin resistance in mature fat cells.
fat cell; insulin action; botanicals; hypericin; hyperforin
Ectopic lipids in peripheral tissues have been implicated in attenuating insulin action in vivo. The botanical extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (PMI 5011) improves insulin action, yet the precise mechanism is not known. We sought to determine whether the mechanism by which PMI 5011 improves insulin signaling is through regulation of lipid metabolism. After differentiation, cells were separately preincubated with free fatty acids (FFAs) and ceramide C2, and the effects on glycogen content, insulin signaling, and ceramide profiles were determined. The effect of PMI 5011 on ceramide accumulation and ceramide-induced inhibition of insulin signaling was evaluated. FFAs resulted in increased levels of total ceramides and ceramide species in L6 myotubes. Saturated FFAs and ceramide C2 inhibited insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of protein kinase B/Akt and reduced glycogen content. PMI 5011 had no effect on ceramide formation or accumulation but increased insulin sensitivity via restoration of Akt phosphorylation. PMI 5011 also attenuated the FFA-induced upregulation of a negative inhibitor of insulin signaling, i.e., protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), and increased phosphorylation of PTP1B. PMI 5011 attenuates the reduction in insulin signaling induced by ceramide accumulation, but the mechanism of improved insulin signaling is independent of ceramide formation.
Impaired insulin signaling is a key feature of type 2 diabetes and is associated with increased ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent protein degradation in skeletal muscle. An extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (termed PMI5011) improves insulin action by increasing insulin signaling in skeletal muscle. We sought to determine if the effect of PMI5011 on insulin signaling extends to regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. C2C12 myotubes and the KK-Ay murine model of type 2 diabetes were used to evaluate the effect of PMI5011 on steady-state levels of ubiquitylation, proteasome activity and expression of Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1, muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases that are upregulated with impaired insulin signaling. Our results show that PMI5011 inhibits proteasome activity and steady-state ubiquitylation levels in vitro and in vivo. The effect of PMI5011 is mediated by PI3K/Akt signaling and correlates with decreased expression of Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1. Under in vitro conditions of hormonal or fatty acid-induced insulin resistance, PMI5011 improves insulin signaling and reduces Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 protein levels. In the KK-Ay murine model of type 2 diabetes, skeletal muscle ubiquitylation and proteasome activity is inhibited and Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 expression is decreased by PMI5011. PMI5011-mediated changes in the ubiquitin-proteasome system in vivo correlate with increased phosphorylation of Akt and FoxO3a and increased myofiber size. The changes in Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 expression, ubiquitin-proteasome activity and myofiber size modulated by PMI5011 in the presence of insulin resistance indicate the botanical extract PMI5011 may have therapeutic potential in the preservation of muscle mass in type 2 diabetes.
Bioactive components from bitter melon (BM) have been reported to improve glucose metabolism in vivo, but definitive studies on efficacy and mechanism of action are lacking. We sought to investigate the effects of BM bioactives on body weight, muscle lipid content and insulin signaling in mice fed a high fat diet and on insulin signaling in L6 myotubes. Male C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into low-fat diet control (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD) and HFD plus BM (BM) groups. Body weight, body composition, plasma glucose, leptin, insulin, and muscle lipid profile were determined over 12 weeks. Insulin signaling was determined in the mouse muscle taken at end of study and in L6 myotubes exposed to the extract. Body weight, plasma glucose, insulin, leptin levels, and HOMA-IR values were significantly lower in the BM fed HFD group when compared to the HFD group. BM supplementation significantly increased IRS-2, IR β, PI 3K and GLUT4 protein abundance in skeletal muscle as well as phosphorylation of IRS-1, Akt1 and Akt2 when compared with HFD (P<0.05 and P<0.01). BM also significantly reduced muscle lipid content in the HFD mice. BM extract greatly increased glucose uptake and enhanced insulin signaling in L6 myotubes. This study shows that bitter melon bioactives reduced body weight, improved glucose metabolism and enhanced skeletal muscle insulin signaling. A contributing mechanism to the enhanced insulin signaling may associate with the reduction in skeletal muscle lipid content. Nutritional supplementation with this extract, if validated for human studies, may offer an adjunctive therapy for diabetes.
Bitter melon extract; acyl carnitine; IRS-1; PI 3Kinase; High fat diet
Ethanolic extracts of diploid Artemisia dracunculus L. (wild tarragon) from populations in the U.S., and polyploid tarragon from a variety of sources, were screened for the anti-diabetic compounds davidigenin; sakuranetin; 2′,4′-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone; 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid; 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid and 6-demethoxycapillarisin using LC-MS. Only decaploid plants contained all six target compounds and were the only plants that contained davidigenin and 2,4-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone. These results exhibit the importance of germplasm selection and provenance when studying plants for medicinal activity. Relying only on the “right species” for consistent medicinal activities may not be sufficient, as intraspecific variation may be highly significant.
Artemisia dracunculus; wild tarragon; polyploidy; germplasm; diabetes; sakuranetin
The agouti-related protein (Agrp) is a powerful orexigenic peptide, but little is known about its transcriptional regulation. The objective of this study was to determine molecular mechanisms for the activation of hypothalamic Agrp and identify compounds that stimulate appetite.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We used promoter analyses methods, hypothalamic cell culture and transfection, immunohistochemistry, luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, in vivo bioluminescence, anitisense RNA, mouse feeding studies, indirect calorimetry, real-time PCR, and Western blots.
We found that the Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) is a potent activator of Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box in its minimal promoter. We also found that an extract of tarragon, termed PMI-5011, activated hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp. In vivo, PMI-5011 increased Agrp promoter activity in luciferase-expressing transgenic mice, increased hypothalamic Klf4 and Agrp expression, increased hypothalamic Orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone, increased food intake, reduced circulating insulin and leptin levels, attenuated energy expenditure, and enhanced body weight but only when using a high-fat diet.
These data show that Klf4 augmented hypothalamic Agrp by binding to a specific CACCC-box onto its minimal promoter. In addition, the tarragon extract PMI-5011 activated Klf4 and orexigenic neuropeptides and reduced peripheral insulin and leptin levels leading to positive energy balance.
An ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. (PMI-5011) was shown to be hypoglycemic in animal models for Type 2 diabetes and contain at least 6 bioactive compounds responsible for its anti-diabetic properties. To evaluate the bioavailability of the active compounds, high fat dietary induced obese C57BL/6J male mice were gavaged with PMI-5011 at 500 mg/kg body weight, after 4 h of food restriction. Blood plasma samples (200 uL) were obtained after ingestion, and the concentrations of the active compound in the blood sera were measured by electrospray LC-MS and determined to be maximal 4–6 h after gavage. Formulations of the extract with bioenhancers/solubilizers were evaluated in vivo for hypoglycemic activity and their effect on the abundance of active compounds in blood sera. At doses of 50–500 mg/kg/day, the hypoglycemic activity of the extract was enhanced 3–5 fold with the bioenhancer Labrasol, making it comparable to the activity of the anti-diabetic drug metformin. When combined with Labrasol, one of the active compounds, 2′, 4′-dihydroxy-4-methoxydihydrochalcone, was at least as effective as metformin at doses of 200–300 mg/kg/day. Therefore, bioenhancing agents like Labrasol can be used with multi-component botanical therapeutics such as PMI-5011 to increase their efficacy and/or to reduce the effective dose.
Wild berries are integral dietary components for Alaska Native tribes and a rich source of polyphenolic metabolites that can ameliorate metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. In this study, five species of wild Alaskan berries (Vaccinium ovalifolium, V. uliginosum, Rubus chamaemorus, R. spectabilis, and Empetrum nigrum) were screened for bioactivity through a community-participatory research method involving three geographically-distinct tribal communities. Compositional analysis by HPLC and LC-MS2 revealed substantial site-specific variation in anthocyanins (0.01-4.39 mg/g-FW) and proanthocyanidins (0.74-6.25 mg/g-FW), and identified A-type proanthocyanidin polymers. R. spectabilis increased expression levels of preadipocyte-factor-1 (182%), and proanthocyanidin-enriched fractions from other species reduced lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Selected extracts reduced serum glucose levels in C57bl/6j mice by up to 45%. Local observations provided robust insights into effects of climatic fluctuations on berry abundance and quality, and preliminary site-specific compositional and bioactivity differences were noted, suggesting the need to monitor this Alaska Native resource as climate shifts impact the region.
Anthocyanins; proanthocyanidins; Vaccinium ovalifolium; Vaccinium uliginosum; Rubus spectabilis; Rubus chamaemorus; Empetrum nigrum; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; pref-1; adipocytes; diabetes; obesity; metabolic syndrome
Adipocytes are insulin sensitive cells that play a major role in energy homeostasis. Obesity is the primary disease of fat cells and a major risk factor for the development of Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Obesity and its related disorders result in dysregulation of the mechanisms that control adipocyte gene expression and function. To identify potential novel therapeutic modulators of adipocytes, we screened 425 botanical extracts for their ability to modulate adipogenesis and insulin sensitivity. We observed that less than 2% of the extracts had substantial effects on adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. Two of the botanical extracts that inhibited adipogenesis were extracts from St. John’s Wort (SJW). Our studies revealed that leaf and flower, but not root, extracts isolated from SJW inhibited adipogenesis as judged by examining PPARγ and adiponectin levels. We also examined the effects of these SJW extracts on insulin sensitivity in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Both leaf and flower extracts isolated from SJW substantially inhibited insulin sensitive glucose uptake. The specificity of the observed effects was demonstrated by showing that treatment with SJW flower extract resulted in a time and dose dependent inhibition of insulin stimulated glucose uptake. SJW is commonly used in the treatment of depression. However, our studies have revealed that SJW may have a negative impact on adipocyte related diseases by limiting differentiation of preadipocytes and significantly inducing insulin resistance in mature fat cells.
Plants have been used as a source of medicine throughout history and continue to serve as the basis for many pharmaceuticals used today. Although the modern pharmaceutical industry was born from botanical medicine, synthetic approaches to drug discovery have become standard. However, this modern approach has led to a decline in new drug development in recent years and a growing market for botanical therapeutics that are currently available as dietary supplements, drugs, or botanical drugs. Most botanical therapeutics are derived from medicinal plants that have been cultivated for increased yields of bioactive components. The phytochemical composition of many plants has changed over time, with domestication of agricultural crops resulting in the enhanced content of some bioactive compounds and diminished content of others. Plants continue to serve as a valuable source of therapeutic compounds because of their vast biosynthetic capacity. A primary advantage of botanicals is their complex composition consisting of collections of related compounds having multiple activities that interact for a greater total activity.
An alcoholic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L (PMI 5011) has been shown to decrease glucose and improve insulin levels in animal models, suggesting an ability to enhance insulin sensitivity. We sought to assess the cellular mechanism by which this botanical affects carbohydrate metabolism in primary human skeletal muscle culture. We measured basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen accumulation, phosphoinositide 3 (PI-3) kinase activity, and Akt phosphorylation in primary skeletal muscle culture from subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus incubated with or without various concentrations of PMI 5011. We also analyzed the abundance of insulin receptor signaling proteins, for example, IRS-1, IRS-2, and PI-3 kinase. Glucose uptake was significantly increased in the presence of increasing concentrations of PMI 5011. In addition, glycogen accumulation, observed to be decreased with increasing free fatty acid levels, was partially restored with PMI 5011. PMI 5011 treatment did not appear to significantly affect protein abundance for IRS-1, IRS-2, PI-3 kinase, Akt, insulin receptor, or Glut-4. However, PMI 5011 significantly decreased levels of a specific protein tyrosine phosphatase, that is, PTP1B. Time course studies confirmed that protein abundance of PTP1B decreases in the presence of PMI 5011. The cellular mechanism of action to explain the effects by which an alcoholic extract of A dracunculus L improves carbohydrate metabolism on a clinical level may be secondary to enhancing insulin receptor signaling and modulating levels of a specific protein tyrosine phosphatase, that is, PTP1B.
Blueberry fruits are known as a rich source of anthocyanin components. In this study we demonstrate that anthocyanins from blueberry have the potency to alleviate symptoms of hyperglycemia in diabetic C57b1/6J mice. The anti-diabetic activity of different anthocyanin-related extracts was evaluated using the pharmaceutically acceptable self-microemulsifying drug delivery system; Labrasol. Treatment by gavage (500 mg/kg body wt) with a phenolic-rich extract and an anthocyanin-enriched fraction formulated with Labrasol lowered elevated blood glucose levels by 33 and 51%, respectively. The hypoglycemic activities of these formulae were comparable to that of the known anti-diabetic drug metformin (Baily and Day, 2004; 27% at 300 mg/kg). The extracts were not significantly hypoglycemic when administered without Labrasol, demonstrating its bio-enhancing effect, most likely due to increasing the bioavailability of the administered preparations. The phenolic-rich extract contained 287.0 ± 9.7 mg/g anthocyanins, while the anthocyanin-enriched fraction contained 595 ± 20.0 mg/g (cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents), as measured by HPLC and pH differential analysis methods. The greater hypoglycemic activity of the anthocyanin-enriched fraction compared to the initial phenolic-rich extract suggested that the activity was due to the anthocyanin components. Treatment by gavage (300 mg/kg) with the pure anthocyanins, delphinidin-3-O-glucoside and malvidin-3-O- glucoside, formulated with Labrasol, showed that malvidin-3-O- glucoside was significantly hypoglycemic while delphinidin-3-O-glucoside was not.
Blueberry; Vaccinium angustifolium; Anthocyanins; Malvidin; Diabetes; Hyperglycemia; Hypoglycemia; Labrasol
Phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC) is produced by Brassica food plants. PEO is a PEITC Essential Oil containing >95% natural PEITC. PEITC is known to produce various health benefits but its effect in alleviation of ulcerative colitis signs is unknown.
In two efficacy studies (acute and chronic) oral administration of PEO was effective at remitting acute and chronic signs of ulcerative colitis (UC) in mice. Disease activity, histology and biochemical characteristics were measured in the treated animals and were compared with appropriate controls. PEO treatment significantly improved body weights and stool consistency as well as decreased intestinal bleeding. PEO treatment also reduced mucosal inflammation, depletion of goblet cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Attenuation of proinflammatory interleukin1β production was observed in the colons of PEO-treated animals. Expression analyses were also carried out for immune function related genes, transcription factors and cytokines in lipopolysaccharide-activated mouse macrophage cells. PEO likely affects an intricate network of immune signaling genes including a novel concentration dependent reduction of total cellular Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as nuclear phosphorylated-STAT1 (activated form of STAT1). A PEO-concentration dependent decrease of mRNA of C-X-C motif ligand 10 (a STAT1 responsive chemokine) and Interleukin 6 were also observed.
PEO might be a promising candidate to develop as a treatment for ulcerative colitis patients. The disease attenuation by PEO is likely associated with suppression of activation of STAT1 transcription and inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Artemisia species are a rich source of herbal remedies with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We evaluated PMI-5011, an ethanolic extract of Artemisia dracunculus L., on neuropathy in high-sfat diet-fed mice, a model of prediabetes and obesity developing oxidative stress and proinflammatory changes in peripheral nervous system. C57Bl6/J mice fed high-fat diet for 16 weeks developed obesity, moderate nonfasting hyperglycemia, nerve conduction deficit, thermal and mechanical hypoalgesia, and tactile allodynia. They displayed 12/15-lipoxygenase overexpression, 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid accumulation, and nitrosative stress in peripheral nerve and spinal cord. PMI-5011 (500 mgkg−1d−1, 7 weeks) normalized glycemia, alleviated nerve conduction slowing and sensory neuropathy, and reduced 12/15-lipoxygenase upregulation and nitrated protein expression in peripheral nervous system. PMI-5011, a safe and nontoxic botanical extract, may find use in treatment of neuropathic changes at the earliest stage of disease.
Four wild berry species, Amelanchier alnifolia, Viburnum trilobum, Prunus virginiana, and Shepherdia argentea, all integral to the traditional subsistence diet of Native American tribal communities, were evaluated to elucidate phytochemical composition and bioactive properties related to performance and human health. Biological activity was screened using a range of bioassays that assessed the potential for these little-known dietary berries to affect diabetic microvascular complications, hyperglycemia, pro-inflammatory gene expression, and metabolic syndrome symptoms. Non-polar constituents from berries, including carotenoids, were potent inhibitors of aldose reductase (an enzyme involved in the etiology of diabetic microvascular complications) whereas the polar constituents, mainly phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins, were hypoglycemic agents and strong inhibitors of IL-1β and COX-2 gene expression. Berry samples also showed the ability to modulate lipid metabolism and energy expenditure in a manner consistent with improving metabolic syndrome. The results demonstrate that these berries traditionally consumed by tribal cultures contain a rich array of phytochemicals that have the capacity to promote health and protect against chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Amelanchier alnifolia; Viburnum trilobum; Prunus virginiana; Shepherdia argentea; diabetes; inflammation; energy expenditure
Quercetin, a polyphenolic compound and a major bioflavonoid in the human diet, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been postulated to enhance energy expenditure (EE). We sought to determine whether quercetin alters body weight, body composition, EE, and circulating markers of inflammation. At 6 weeks (W) of age, 2 cohorts of C57BL/6J mice (N = 80) were placed on one of 2 diets for 3W or 8W: (1) high fat (HF) (45% kcal fat) or (2) high fat + quercetin (HF + Q) (45% kcal fat + 0.8% quercetin). Quercetin concentrations in the diet and plasma were evaluated using mass spectrometry. Body weight, composition (nuclear magnetic resonance), and food consumption were measured weekly. Energy expenditure was measured by indirect calorimetry at 3 and 8W, and inflammatory markers were measured in plasma obtained at 8W. The presence of quercetin in the HF diet did not alter food consumption over time in the HF + Q group and did not differ from the HF group at any time point. However, circulating plasma quercetin concentrations declined between 3 and 8W. At 3W, EE was higher during both day and night phases (P < .0001) in the HF + Q group compared with the HF group; but this difference was not detected at 8W and did not translate into significant differences between the HF + Q and HF groups with respect to body weight or body composition. During the night phase, concentrations of the inflammatory markers (interferon-γ, interleukin-1α, and interleukin-4) were significantly lower when compared with HF treatment group (P < .05). Dietary supplementation with quercetin produces transient (3W) increases in EE that are not detected after 8W on the diet. A corresponding decrease in circulating quercetin between 3 and 8W suggests that metabolic adaptation may have diminished the impact of quercetin's early effect on EE and diminished its overall effect on nutrient partitioning and adiposity. However, quercetin at the levels provided was effective in reducing circulating markers of inflammation observed in animals on an HF diet at 8W.