JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, vol.68, no.31, pp.8119-8131, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
An increasing epidemic of obesity has become a serious public health concern primarily because it contributes to pathogenesis of many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hepatobiliary disease, obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, some types of cancer, among others. Consumption of a variety of phytochemicals has emerged as a promising potential for combating obesity and its comorbidities. However, the generally low aqueous solubility, stability, bioavailability, and target specificity of phytochemicals, along with their side-effects and toxicity seen when used at high doses, have restricted their clinical applications. As a solution, phytochemicals can be encapsulated into nanoparticles to increase their stability and solubility, enhance their bioavailability, protect them from premature degradation in the body, prolong their circulation time, and thus enhance their antiobesity activity. In this perspective, we summarize the problems and limitations of the prominent phytochemicals (epigallocatechin gallate, trans-resveratrol, curcumin, and quercetin), the major biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles, and the efficacy of nanoencapsulated forms of these phytochemicals in combating obesity and its comorbidities.