Nature via nurture: Effect of diet on health, obesity, and safety assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Food is not only vital for the health and well-being of any living being, but it is a potential source of harmful chemicals, both natural and man-made. Further complicating this is the fact that most nutrients themselves are potentially toxic when consumed in excess. Deficiencies in some of these same nutrients may cause effects that resemble toxicosis or enhance the toxic potential of other nutrients or exogenous chemicals and drugs. This review discusses some of the nutritional and metabolic mechanisms involved and the implications of excess and deficiency in macronutrients and micronutrients in toxicologic pathology. In addition, we review the adverse effects of ad libitum (AL) overfeeding on metabolic, endocrine, renal, and cardiac diseases, and many cancers and the healthful effects of moderate dietary restriction (DR) in modulating obesity and controlling spontaneous and induced diseases of laboratory animals used in toxicology and carcinogenicity studies for human safety assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-209
Number of pages20
JournalToxicologic Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • caloric excess
  • caloric restriction
  • cancer
  • carbohydrate
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabesity
  • diet
  • fiber
  • lipids
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • protein
  • renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


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