Effects of dietary glutathione precursors on cellular redox and mitochondrial efficiency in adults consuming a defined hypocaloric diet (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada) – Year two

The aim of this research is to investigate the cellular mechanistic effects of supplementation with a hypocaloric meal replacement product (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada) containing cysteine and glycine, which are amino acid precursors of the antioxidant glutathione. Impaired cellular glutathione redox is evident in obesity and metabolic disorders; Therefore, this study focuses on a population in which we have previously observed impaired muscle cellular glutathione redox and slow weight loss during the exclusive dietary consumption of Optifast-900. We hypothesize that 6 weeks of supplementation with Optifast-900 in 80 adults will normalize muscle, lymphocyte and plasma glutathione redox and improve weight loss. Molecular analyses are expected to demonstrate improved metabolic flexibility and decreased oxidative stress. The knowledge, expertise, and enhanced technologies to be transferred to Canadian industry will include new personalized and less invasive approaches to assess effectiveness dietary interventions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Mary-Ellen Harper


Chantal Pileggi



Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Medical devices




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