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Metabolic Effects of the Sweet Protein MNEI as a Sweetener in Drinking Water. A Pilot Study of a High Fat Dietary Regimen in a Rodent Model

1
Department of Biology, Federico II University, Via Cintia, 80126 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Chemical Sciences, Federico II University, Via Cintia, 80126 Naples, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this article.
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2643; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112643
Received: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
Sweeteners have become integrating components of the typical western diet, in response to the spreading of sugar-related pathologies (diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome) that have stemmed from the adoption of unbalanced dietary habits. Sweet proteins are a relatively unstudied class of sweet compounds that could serve as innovative sweeteners, but their introduction on the food market has been delayed by some factors, among which is the lack of thorough metabolic and toxicological studies. We have tried to shed light on the potential of a sweet protein, MNEI, as a fructose substitute in beverages in a typical western diet, by studying the metabolic consequences of its consumption on a Wistar rat model of high fat diet-induced obesity. In particular, we investigated the lipid profile, insulin sensitivity and other indicators of metabolic syndrome. We also evaluated systemic inflammation and potential colon damage. MNEI consumption rescued the metabolic derangement elicited by the intake of fructose, namely insulin resistance, altered plasma lipid profile, colon inflammation and translocation of lipopolysaccharides from the gut lumen into the circulatory system. We concluded that MNEI could represent a valid alternative to fructose, particularly when concomitant metabolic disorders such as diabetes and/or glucose intolerance are present. View Full-Text
Keywords: sweet protein; MNEI; fructose; high fat diet sweet protein; MNEI; fructose; high fat diet
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Cancelliere, R.; Leone, S.; Gatto, C.; Mazzoli, A.; Ercole, C.; Iossa, S.; Liverini, G.; Picone, D.; Crescenzo, R. Metabolic Effects of the Sweet Protein MNEI as a Sweetener in Drinking Water. A Pilot Study of a High Fat Dietary Regimen in a Rodent Model. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2643.

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