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Research Thesis Topic

Functional Foods and Diet-induced Obesity

Topic ID

Thesis Topic/Title
Functional Foods and Diet-induced Obesity


Obesity as part of metabolic syndrome is a major lifestyle disorder throughout the world. Around 2/3rd of the Australian population is overweight or obese. Current pharmaceutical treatments for obesity produce small and usually unsustainable decreases in body weight with the risk of major adverse effects. Lifestyle modification including the use of functional foods could produce a reliable decrease in obesity with decreased comorbidities. Our major research projects use the high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-fed rats as a model for obesity, hypertension and fatty liver. These rats develop symptoms of metabolic syndrome including an increased body fat mass, systolic blood pressure, heart weights, abdominal circumference, visceral fat pad deposition, glucose tolerance after oral glucose loading, infiltration of inflammatory cells in left ventricle and liver, cardiac collagen deposition, left ventricular diastolic stiffness, liver collagen deposition and plasma liver enzyme markers. We then treat the rats with functional foods such as purple fruits and vegetables, seaweeds, oilseeds and grains. At the end of the protocol, the responses to these functional foods are characterised and possible mechanisms are investigated.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
  • School of Health and Wellbeing

Field of Research
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Pre-approved for Ethics

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

Good communication skills both verbal and written, publication of experiments performed as part of the thesis

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