Research - Obesity / Weight Loss
Beneficial Effects of Natural Bioactive Compounds from Hibiscus sabdariffa L. on Obesity
Oyindamola Vivian Ojulari 1 , Seul Gi Lee 1 and Ju-Ock Nam
Obesity is a condition associated with the accumulation of excess fat in the body, energy imbalance, lipogenesis, etc., which increases adipose tissue mass through adipogenesis and poses a health risk. Its prevalence has become an economic burden to the health care system and the world at large. One of the alternatives to tackling obesity involves the use of bioactive compounds. We critically examined the effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa extract (HSE) on various parameters associated with the development of obesity such as; the effect of HSE on body weight, the effect of HSE on lipid accumulation, cholesterol metabolism and plasma parameters, the inhibitory effect of HSE on pancreatic lipase, and the effect of HSE on adipocyte differentiation/adipogenesis. This review has gathered reports on the various anti-obesity effects of H. sabdariffa bioactive compounds in cell and animal models, as well as in humans. Available toxicology information on the consumption of H. sabdariffa revealed that its toxicity is dose-dependent and may cause an adverse effect when administered over a long period of time. Reports have shown that H. sabdariffa derived bioactive compounds are potent in the treatment of obesity with an evident reduction in body weight, inhibition of lipid accumulation and suppression of adipogenesis through the PPARγ pathway and other transcriptional factors
Source : Journal Molecules
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Effect of dark sweet cherry powder consumption on the gut microbiota, short-chain fatty acids, and biomarkers of gut health in obese db/db mice
Jose F. Garcia-Mazcorro,1,2 Nara N. Lage,3,4 Susanne Mertens-Talcott,4 Stephen Talcott,4 Boon Chew,4Scot E. Dowd,5 Jorge R. Kawas,6 and Giuliana D. Noratto4
Cherries are fruits containing fiber and bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenolics) with the potential of helping patients with diabetes and weight disorders, a phenomenon likely related to changes in the complex host-microbiota milieu. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of cherry supplementation on the gut bacterial composition, concentrations of caecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and biomarkers of gut health using an in vivo model of obesity. Obese diabetic (db/db) mice received a supplemented diet with 10% cherry powder (supplemented mice, n = 12) for 12 weeks; obese (n = 10) and lean (n = 10) mice served as controls and received a standard diet without cherry. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) were used to analyze the gut microbiota; SCFAs and biomarkers of gut health were also measured using standard techniques. According to 16S sequencing, supplemented mice harbored a distinct colonic microbiota characterized by a higher abundance of mucin-degraders (i.e., Akkermansia) and fiber-degraders (the S24-7 family) as well as lower abundances of Lactobacillus and Enterobacteriaceae. Overall this particular cherry-associated colonic microbiota did not resemble the microbiota in obese or lean controls based on the analysis of weighted and unweighted UniFrac distance metrics. qPCR confirmed some of the results observed in sequencing, thus supporting the notion that cherry supplementation can change the colonic microbiota. Moreover, the SCFAs detected in supplemented mice (caproate, methyl butyrate, propionate, acetate and valerate) exceeded those concentrations detected in obese and lean controls except for butyrate. Despite the changes in microbial composition and SCFAs, most of the assessed biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and intestinal health in colon tissues and mucosal cells were similar in all obese mice with and without supplementation. This paper shows that dietary supplementation with cherry powder for 12 weeks affects the microbiota and the concentrations of SCFAs in the lower intestinal tract of obese db/db diabetic mice. These effects occurred in absence of differences in most biomarkers of inflammation and other parameters of gut health. Our study prompts more research into the potential clinical implications of cherry consumption as a dietary supplement in diabetic and obese human patients.
Source : PeerJ
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New study links an additive to some soft drinks, laxatives and oil dispersants to obesity
By Brian Bienkowski - Environmental Health News
A chemical used in sodas and some laxatives for years assumed safe by federal health officials might make people more prone to obesity.
The chemical is used as a laxative and in sodas to help ingredients mix properly. It's also a major ingredient in Corexit, the dispersant applied by the millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
But the chemical, dicotyl sodium sulfoscuccinate, or DOSS, is a likely member of a family of chemicals contributing to obesity, researchers say in a study published today in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.
That the chemical has been on the market for decades but is only now seen as possibly problematic offers further indictment of an inadequate federal chemical testing regime, critics say. And the new study bolsters evidence that chemicals in the environment play a role in growing obesity rates.
"These chemicals ... change the way you respond to calories," said Bruce Blumberg, a professor and researcher at the University of California who was not involved in the study.
DOSS has been around since the 1950s, used as a direct additive—put in food on purpose —or as an indirect additive in the packaging or processing of food, said Maricel Maffini, an independent consultant and scientist that studies chemical exposure.
A food ingredient database maintained by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit health and environmental organization, lists DOSS as an ingredient in eight Flavor Air soft drink mixes, a Hawaiian Punch drink mix and Coca Cola’s Fanta.
But it could be in much more, said Maffini, formerly of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Small quantities can fall beneath reporting requirements, she said.
For example, the FDA lists DOSS as used in some breakfast cocoas.
DOSS was declared “generally recognized as safe” in a 1998 petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency had “no questions” for Cytec Industries regarding their conclusion of DOSS’s safety in 1998 for use in carbonated drinks.
Maffini said the “generally recognized as safe” distinction was intended for substances used for decades such as vinegars, oils and salts. “The loophole has been expanded greatly,” she said.
DOSS is also used as a laxative under multiple brand names including Colace and Docusate.
Marianna Naum, a spokesperson for the FDA, said the agency would review the new study but would not comment on the findings and what it means for the future of DOSS until an internal review is complete.
Medical University of South Carolina graduate student and co lead author of the study, Alexis Temkin, said it’s unclear what levels of DOSS are in sodas or breakfast cocoa, but for laxatives a high dose for women would be about 500 milligrams. She and colleagues used doses about 2 to 10 times higher than that. However DOSS “could act completely different in a whole body compared to in a controlled setting in a lab,” she said.
Factors such as diet and lifestyle choices are undeniable but researchers continue to find surprising interactions between obesity and additives ubiquitous in food and consumer products. A study released earlier this year, for instance, linked bisphenol-A (BPA), an additive in plastics, canned food linings and thermal paper receipts, to obesity.
In the current study the researchers stumbled upon their findings almost by accident.
They were looking for non-lethal effects and any endocrine disruption impacts from exposure to the mixture crude oil plus Corexit, Temkin said. “We weren’t really familiar with DOSS before the study … it was sort of a needle in the haystack expedition.”
Oil dispersant concerns
DOSS is an effective oil dispersant because it separates oil and water, making it easier to pick up the oil. It is a major ingredient in Corexit dispersants, which were used in the Gulf of Mexico after the massive BP oil spill in 2010.
An estimated 1.8 million gallons of Corexit were sprayed to break down the oil.
It’s not the first link to health concerns for the dispersants. In April, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers reported that one Corexit product used, Corexit EC9500A, can damage the cells in people’s lungs or aquatic creatures’ gills.
There was "little potential for worker or public exposure to dispersants due to the extensive controls put in place, including extensive monitoring, by the federal government and BP," said BP spokesman Jason Ryan in an email.
Ryan also pointed out that long-term exposure to DOSS is much more likely to come from consumer products, such as flavored drinks and laxatives.
The U.S. EPA, and the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, comprised of multiple federal and local government agencies that have been working toward Gulf cleanup, all declined to comment on the new study.
Chemicals and obesity
Temkin and colleagues exposed mouse and human cells to different oil dispersant mixtures. DOSS increased genes associated with fat cells and activated receptors that spur the process of non-mature fat cells turning into mature fat cells.
“That a chemical causes more fat cells is concerning,” Blumberg said.
Temkin said it’s too early for the study to inform any kind of policy change for DOSS use, but that an important next step is to find a good way to measure how much of it people are actually exposed to.
“This is a strong study," said Michael Skinner, a professor and researcher at Washington State University who was not involved in the study. That strength comes in part because few studies have drilled down to see what the health effects could be from DOSS, he added.
Most concerning is exposure to such compounds as a fetus or at an early age, Skinner said. It’s not that such compounds simply make you fat, but they may increase your chances, and we can’t ignore that, he said.
“Any disease has two elements—first element is susceptibility to develop disease. That doesn’t mean you’ll get the disease, such as obesity,” Skinner said. “Now the second component is the actual trigger—what promotes the onset of obesity, such as diet and exercise.
“Lifestyle choices later in life are critical elements to promote obesity, but initial susceptibility had nothing to do with that.”
Source : Environmental Health News
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Do our bodies safely break down BPA? Fat chance, study suggests.
A new study suggests the long-held industry assumption that bisphenol-A breaks down safely in the human body is incorrect. Instead, researchers say, the body transforms the ubiquitous chemical additive into a compound that might spur obesity.
The study is the first to find that people’s bodies metabolize bisphenol-A (BPA) — a chemical found in most people and used in polycarbonate plastic, food cans and paper receipts — into something that impacts our cells and may make us fat.
The research, from Health Canada, challenges an untested assumption that our liver metabolizes BPA into a form that doesn’t impact our health.
“This shows we can’t just say things like ‘because it’s a metabolite, it means it’s not active’,” said Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was not involved in the study. “You have to do a study.”
People are exposed to BPA throughout the day, mostly through diet, as it can leach from canned goods and plastic storage containers into food, but also through dust and water.
Within about 6 hours of exposure, our liver metabolizes about half the concentration. Most of that — about 80 to 90 percent — is converted into a metabolite called BPA-Glucuronide, which is eventually excreted.
The Health Canada researchers treated both mouse and human cells with BPA-Glucuronide. The treated cells had a “significant increase in lipid accumulation,” according to the study results. BPA-Glucuronide is “not an inactive metabolite as previously believed but is in fact biologically active,” the Health Canada authors wrote in the study published this week in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Not all cells will accumulate lipids, said Thomas Zoeller, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who was not involved in the study. Testing whether or not cells accumulate lipids is “a very simple way of demonstrating that cells are becoming fat cells,” he said.
“Hopefully this [study] stops us from making assumptions about endocrine disrupting chemicals in general,” he said.
The liver is our body's filter, but it doesn't always neutralize harmful compounds. “Metabolism’s purpose isn’t necessarily a cleaning process. The liver just takes nasty things and turns them into a form we can get out of our body,” Vandenberg said.
BPA already has been linked to obesity in both human and animal studies. The associations are especially prevalent for children exposed while they’re developing.
Researchers believe BPA does so by mimicking estrogen hormones, but its metabolite doesn’t appear to do so. In figuring out why metabolized BPA appears to spur fat cells, Zoeller said, it’s possible that BPA-Glucuronide is “hitting certain receptors in cells”.
Health Canada researchers were only looking at this one possible health outcome. “There could be other [health] impacts,” Zoeller said.
In recent studies BPA-Glucuronide has been found in human blood and urine at higher concentration than just plain BPA.
Industry representatives, however, argue the doses used were much higher than what would be found in people.
Steve Hentges, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, said the concentrations used in which the researchers saw increased fat cells were "thousands of times higher than the concentrations of BPA-Glucuronide that could be present in human blood from consumer exposure to BPA.
"There were no statistically significant observations at lower BPA-G concentrations, all of which are higher than human blood concentrations,” he said in the emailed response.
Zoeller agreed the dose was high but said “the concentration is much less important than the fact that here is a group testing an assumption that’s uniformly been made.” Vandenberg said the range is not that far off from what has been found in some people’s blood.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the Health Canada study but couldn’t comment before Environmental Health News’ deadline, said spokesperson Marianna Naum in an email.
The agency continues to study BPA and states on its website that federal research models “showed that BPA is rapidly metabolized and eliminated through feces and urine.”
Health Canada, which was not able to provide interviews for this article, has maintained a similar stance to the U.S. FDA, stating on its website that it “has concluded that the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and infants.”
However, the fact that Health Canada even conducted such a study is a big deal, Vandenberg said.
“Health Canada is a regulatory body and this is pretty forward thinking science,” she said. “Hopefully this is a bell that can ring for scientists working for other regulatory agencies.”
Source : Environmental Health News
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Weight Still Top Risk Factor for Knee Arthritis, Pain
Other factors include female gender, previous knee injury, age, and presence of hand OA.
Familiar risk factors for knee osteoarthritis (OA) in individuals 50 years and older -- high body mass index (BMI), previous knee injury, age, female sex, and the presence of hand OA -- were confirmed as the condition's top drivers in a new systematic review and meta-analysis with an updated evidence base.
One-fourth of cases of onset of knee pain could be attributable to being either overweight or obese, according to Victoria Silverwood and colleagues at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University in Staffordshire, England.
The finding emphasizes "the continued importance of weight loss as a management option for OA," they wrote in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. "Our calculated PAF [population attributable fraction] values demonstrate that 24.6% of cases of onset of knee pain could be attributed to being either overweight or obese."
Data from 46 published studies up to December 2012 were extracted for the systematic review to assess the association between potential risk factors and knee pain/knee OA in study cohorts with a mean age of 50 years and older. Thirty-four studies in which risk factors had consistent definitions across studies were included in the meta-analysis.
Meta-analysis was performed for five risk factors where a sufficient number of studies reported findings. These were: BMI, female gender, smoking, previous knee injury, and the presence of hand OA or Heberden's nodes.
There was consistent demonstration that being overweight was a risk factor for the onset of knee OA. Among 22 such studies included in the meta-analysis, the pooled odds ratio (OR) was 1.98 (95% CI 1.57-2.20).
Among 22 studies investigating obesity as a risk factor for onset of knee OA, all studies were generally consistent in reporting obesity as a risk factor despite a large amount of heterogeneity between study findings. The pooled OR of these studies was 2.66 (95% CI 2.15-3.28), a slightly larger effect on onset of knee OA than being overweight.
In 25 cohort studies reporting results, or from which results could be deduced, on the effect of being either overweight or obese on knee OA, the pooled OR was 2.10 (95% CI 1.82-2.42) with a large amount of heterogeneity between studies.
The pooled OR for previous knee injury as a risk factor for knee OA was 2.83 (95% CI 1.91-4.19) in 12 studies, which all showed an increased risk of knee OA with a prior injury, although heterogeneity between studies was considerable.
Evidence was consistent across 10 cohort studies that female gender was a risk factor, with a pooled OR of 1.68 (95% CI 1.37-2.07).
In six cohort studies, the pooled OR of hand OA as a risk factor for knee OA was 1.30 (95% CI 0.90-1.87) with moderate heterogeneity, indicating that it may potentially be a risk factor.
A pooled OR of 0.92 (95% CI 0.83-1.01) suggests that, overall, smoking is not associated with knee OA.
Among 19 studies assessing increasing age as a risk factor for knee OA, there was general agreement that increasing age is a significant risk factor, although establishing a pooled OR was not possible because of the range of different age categorizations.
Kneeling, lifting, and farm and construction work were each evaluated in fewer than five studies. "In summary, it would appear that individuals who are exposed to certain physically demanding activities in their daily working lives may be at an increased risk of developing knee pain and knee OA," the authors conclude.
Of 16 studies that assessed the effect of high levels of physical activity, 11 showed no statistically significant effect on development of knee OA, three showed a significant effect of intense activity, one found a significant effect of habitual activity, and another found a significant effect only in those who ran 20 or more miles per week.
Population attributable fractions were calculated for being overweight or obese, and indicated that 5.1% of new knee pain/knee OA could be attributed to a previous injury and 24.6% could be attributed to being overweight or obese.
"The results of this review can be used clinically to help healthcare professionals identify and manage patients at risk of developing or increasing knee OA," the authors wrote. "Some, such as weight, can be targeted clinically in order to reduce the number of patients who suffer from knee OA. Patients with other risk factors such as previous knee injury, age, and female gender can be managed to reduce progression of the condition."
The authors did not assess the quality of the studies in their review but noted that a previous review they conducted that did take into account the quality of studies made no difference in their findings. Not all potential risk factors (such as low muscle strength or malalignment) were considered. In addition, the definition of knee pain was self-reported and may not reflect radiographic knee OA.
Source : MedPage Today
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Impact of Beverage Content on Health and the Kidneys
Johnson, Richard J. MD; Thomas, Jeffrey MD; Lanaspa, Miguel A. PhD
The last 50 years have witnessed an epidemic rise in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease. Some animal research suggests the epidemic may in part be triggered by sugar. Sugar contains glucose and fructose, and studies suggest it is the fructose component that may have a role in chronic disease development. Animal studies indicate that fructose is distinct from other sugars by its ability to cause transient adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion in the cell with uric acid generation. The administration of fructose, or the raising of uric acid, can induce kidney disease and accelerate established kidney disease in animals. Therefore, we believe that the greatest risk from sugar is when it is given as a soft drink, as the rapidity of ingestion relates directly to the concentration of fructose that the cells are exposed to and hence govern the degree of ATP depletion and uric acid generation. Restricting sugar-sweetened beverages may be one strategy to combat obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease, but human intervention studies are needed to support the theory.
Source : Journal Nutrition Today
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Weight loss effects from vegetable intake: a 12-month randomised controlled trial
L C Tapsell1, M J Batterham1, R L Thorne1, J E O'Shea1, S J Grafenauer1 and Y C Probst1
1School of Medicine, Smart Foods Centre, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Background/Objectives: Direct evidence for the effects of vegetable intake on weight loss is qualified. The study aimed to assess the effect of higher vegetable consumption on weight loss.
Subjects/Methods: A single blind parallel controlled trial was conducted with 120 overweight adults (mean body mass index=29.98 kg/m2) randomised to two energy deficit healthy diet advice groups differing only by doubling the serving (portion) sizes of vegetables in the comparator group. Data were analysed as intention-to-treat using a linear mixed model. Spearmans rho bivariate was used to explore relationships between percentage energy from vegetables and weight loss.
Results: After 12 months, the study sample lost 6.5±5.2 kg (P<0.001 time) with no difference between groups (P>0.05 interaction). Both groups increased vegetable intake and lost weight in the first 3 months, and the change in weight was significantly correlated with higher proportions of energy consumed as vegetables (rho=–0.217, P=0.024). Fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels decreased (P<0.001 time) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased (P<0.001 time), with no difference between groups. Weight loss was sustained for 12 months by both groups, but the comparator group reported greater hunger satisfaction (P=0.005).
Conclusions: Advice to consume a healthy low-energy diet leads to sustained weight loss, with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors regardless of an emphasis on more vegetables. In the short term, consuming a higher proportion of the dietary energy as vegetables may support a greater weight loss and the dietary pattern appears sustainable.
Source : European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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Hibiscus Supplementation Resulted in a Decrease in Waist Circumference, Percent Body Fat, Free Fatty Acids, and Waist-to-hip Ratio in Obese Subjects
Chang HC, Peng CH, Yeh DM, Kao ES, Wang CJ. Hibiscus sabdariffa extract inhibits obesity and fat accumulation, and improves liver steatosis in humans. Food Funct. April 2014;5(4):734-739.
The prevalence of obesity has increased throughout the industrialized world over the past 3 decades. Obesity is correlated with a number of serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and metabolic syndrome. Individuals with metabolic syndrome generally have higher than normal body fat and abdominal fat, high serum levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), low serum levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), and low free fatty acid (FFA) flux. Liver steatosis is the accumulation of fat in the liver and is often seen in obese individuals. In severe cases of liver steatosis, the liver can become inflamed and cell death can occur. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is often used for the treatment and prevention of hypertension, inflammation, and liver disease. Hibiscus has been shown to inhibit LDL oxidation and decrease serum levels of cholesterol in rats and rabbits. These effects are suggested to be due to the high levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acid present in hibiscus extracts. The effect of hibiscus on weight, body fat, serum lipids, and liver enzymes was measured in this double-blind, randomized, controlled study.
Obese subjects (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 27 kg/m2) aged 18-65 who had been diagnosed with fatty liver were recruited to the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital in Taichung City, Taiwan for a study that took place from July 2007 to June 2009. Subjects were excluded if they were pregnant; taking medication to treat fatty liver; consumed more than 19 g of alcohol per day; had high alanine transaminase (ALT) or bilirubin levels; had a history of kidney, cardiovascular, or endocrine disease; or were taking over-the-counter, prescription, or alternative medications.
Subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups that consumed either 2 hibiscus tablets (450 mg hibiscus and 50 mg starch) or 2 placebo tablets (500 mg starch), 3 times per day after meals for 12 weeks. The hibiscus tablets contained aqueous, filtered, dried extracts of hibiscus flowers. The extract contained 1.43% flavonoids, 2.5% anthocyanins, and 1.7% phenolic acid. Height, waist-to-hip ratio, BMI, and body fat were measured at the beginning and end of the study, and weight at 0, 6, and 12 weeks. Serum lipids, glucose, ALT, aspartate transaminase (AST), and a number of other serum biomarkers were measured at the beginning and end of the study. An ultrasound of the liver was conducted, and a fatty liver score (FS) was calculated at the beginning and end of the study. A lower FS indicates a healthier liver. Unpaired student t-tests and paired student t-tests were used to analyze the data.
Of the 40 subjects that began the study, 4 were removed for non-compliance, leaving 17 subjects in the placebo group and 19 in the treatment group. At the beginning of the study, baseline levels of ALT and AST were significantly higher in the treatment group than in the control group (P = 0.033 and P = 0.049, respectively). No other significant differences were found between the groups at the beginning of the study.
There was a significant decrease in waist circumference, percent body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio in the hibiscus treatment group compared to the control group over the course of the study (P < 0.038, P < 0.044, and P < 0.026, respectively). On average, approximately 1.2 kg was lost in the treatment subjects compared to 0.7 kg in the control group, a statistically insignificant difference. There was no significant difference in lipids between the 2 groups. FFA decreased significantly in the hibiscus group compared to the control group (P = 0.026).
Hibiscus supplementation led to a decrease in waist circumference, percent body fat, FFA, and waist-to-hip ratio over the 12-week course of this study. Hibiscus contains a number of secondary compounds that have been shown to affect weight loss and fat metabolism, including galloyl ester, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, tiliroside, and anthocyanins. The authors note that the dosage used may be too low to affect blood lipids and suggest further research on hibiscus dosage level.
–Cheryl McCutchan, PhD
Source : American Botanical Council
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Parental smoking during pregnancy and total and abdominal fat distribution in school-age children: the Generation R Study
B Durmuş1,2,3, D H M Heppe1,2,3, H R Taal1,2,3, R Manniesing4, H Raat5, A Hofman3, E A P Steegers6, R Gaillard1,2,3 and V W V Jaddoe1,2,3
Fetal smoke exposure may influence growth and body composition later in life. We examined the associations of maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy with total and abdominal fat distribution in school-age children.Methods:We performed a population-based prospective cohort study among 5243 children followed from early pregnancy onward in the Netherlands. Information about parental smoking was obtained by questionnaires during pregnancy. At the median age of 6.0 years (90% range: 5.7–7.4), we measured anthropometrics, total fat and android/gynoid fat ratio by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and preperitoneal and subcutaneous abdominal fat were measured by ultrasound.Results:The associations of maternal smoking during pregnancy were only present among girls (P-value for sex interaction<0.05). Compared with girls from mothers who did not smoke during pregnancy, those from mothers who smoked during the first trimester only had a higher android/gynoid fat ratio (difference 0.23 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.09–0.37) s.d. scores (SDS). Girls from mothers who continued smoking throughout pregnancy had a higher body mass index (difference: 0.24 (95% CI: 0.14–0.35) SDS), total fat mass (difference: 0.23 (95% CI: 0.14–0.33) SDS), android/gynoid fat ratio (difference: 0.34 (95% CI: 0.22–0.46) SDS), subcutaneous abdominal fat (difference: 0.22 (95% CI: 0.11–0.33) SDS) and preperitoneal abdominal fat (difference: 0.20 (95% CI: 0.08–0.31) SDS). Similar associations with body fat distribution outcomes were observed for paternal smoking during pregnancy. Both continued maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of childhood overweight. The corresponding odds ratios were 1.19 (95% CI: 0.98–1.46) and 1.32 (1.10–1.58), respectively.Conclusions:Maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy are associated with an adverse body and abdominal fat distribution and increased risk of overweight in children. Similar effects of maternal and paternal smoking suggest that direct intrauterine mechanisms and common family-based lifestyle-related factors explain the associations.
Source : International Journal of Obesity
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A socio-ecological approach promoting physical activity and limiting sedentary behavior in adolescence showed weight benefits maintained 2.5 years after intervention cessation
Open C Simon1,2,3, N Kellou1, J Dugas1, C Platat4, N Copin2,3, B Schweitzer5, F Hausser6, A Bergouignan7, E Lefai1 and S Blanc8
Background:Obesity in youth remains a major public health issue. Yet no effective long-term preventive strategy exists. We previously showed that a school-based socio-ecological approach targeting behavior and social/environmental influences on physical activity (PA) pevented 4-year excessive weight gain in 12-year olds. In this study, we investigated if this efficacy persists 30 months after intervention cessation.Methods and Findings:The program targeted students, family, school and the living environment to promote/support PA and prevent sedentary behavior (SB). A total of 732 students from eight randomized middle schools completed the 4-year trial. At the 30-month post-trial follow-up, body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), leisure PA (LPA), home/school/workplace active commuting, TV/video time (TVT), and attitudes toward PA were measured in 531 adolescents. The beneficial effects of the intervention on the excess BMI increase (+0.01 vs +0.34 kg m−2 in the intervention and control groups, respectively) and on the overweight incidence in initially non-overweight students (4.3% vs 8.6%; odds ratio=0.48 (95% confidence interval: 0.23–1.01)) were maintained at the post-trial follow-up. LPA was not maintained at the level achieved during the trial. However, we still observed a prevention of the age-related decrease of the adolescents’ percentage reporting regular LPA (−14.4% vs −26.5%) and a higher intention to exercise in the intervention group. The intervention promoted lower TVT (−14.0 vs +13.6 min per day) and higher active commuting changes (+11.7% vs −4.8%). Trends in higher BMI reduction in students with high initial TVT and in the least wealthy group were noted. TVT changes throughout the follow-up predicted excess BMI and FMI changes.Conclusions:Long-term multilevel approach targeting PA and SB prevents excessive weight gain up to 30 months after intervention cessation. The efficacy may be higher in the most sedentary and least wealthy adolescents. Healthy PA-related behavior inducing long-lasting weight effects can be promoted in youth providing that an ecological approach is introduced in the prevention strategy.
Source International Journal of Obesity
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Lipase Inhibition and Antiobesity Effect of Atractylodes lancea
Ping Jiao1, Julie Tseng-Crank1, Brandon Corneliusen1, Mesfin Yimam1, Mandee Hodges1, Mei Hong1,Catherine Maurseth1, Misun Oh2, Hyunjin Kim2, Min Chu1,2, Qi Jia1,2
Affiliations1Unigen USA, Seattle, WA, USA 2Unigen Korea, Cheonam Si, Chungnam, South Korea
The ethanol extract o fAtractylodes lancea rhizome displayed significant lipase inhibition withan IC50value of 9.06μg/mL in a human pancreatic lipase assay from high-throughput screening. Bio-assay-guided isolation led to the identification of one new polyacetylene,syn-(5E,11E)-3-acetoxy-4-O-(3-methylbutanoyl)-1,5,11-tridecatriene-7,9-diyne-3,4-diol (7), along with six known compounds (1–6). The structure of compound 7 was determined based on the analysis of NMR and MS data. Among these seven lipase inhibitors,the major compound atractylodin (1) showed the highest lipase inhibitory activity (IC50=39.12μM). The antiobesity effect of the ethanol extract of Atractylodes lancea rhizome was evaluated in a high-fat diet-induced obesity mice model at daily dosages of 250mg/kg and 500mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks, and treatment with this extract demonstrated a moderate efficacy at the 500mg/kg dose level
Source : Planta Medica
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Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women
Marina Sancheza1, Christian Darimonta2, Vicky Drapeaua3, Shahram Emady-Azara4, Melissa Lepagea5, Enea Rezzonicoa2, Catherine Ngom-Brua5, Bernard Bergera2, Lionel Philippea4, Corinne Ammon-Zuffreya2, Patricia Leonea2, Genevieve Chevriera6, Emmanuelle St-Amanda6, André Marettea6, Jean Doréa1 and Angelo Tremblaya1 c1a1 Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
a2 Nutrition and Health Research Department, Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland
a3 Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Laval University, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
a4 Clinical Development Unit, Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland
a5 Analytical Sciences Department, Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland
a6 Research Center of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 4G5
The present study investigated the impact of a Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 (LPR) supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women over 24 weeks. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial, each subject consumed two capsules per d of either a placebo or a LPR formulation (1·6 × 108 colony-forming units of LPR/capsule with oligofructose and inulin). Each group was submitted to moderate energy restriction for the first 12 weeks followed by 12 weeks of weight maintenance. Body weight and composition were measured at baseline, at week 12 and at week 24. The intention-to-treat analysis showed that after the first 12 weeks and after 24 weeks, mean weight loss was not significantly different between the LPR and placebo groups when all the subjects were considered. However, a significant treatment × sex interaction was observed. The mean weight loss in women in the LPR group was significantly higher than that in women in the placebo group (P= 0·02) after the first 12 weeks, whereas it was similar in men in the two groups (P= 0·53). Women in the LPR group continued to lose body weight and fat mass during the weight-maintenance period, whereas opposite changes were observed in the placebo group. Changes in body weight and fat mass during the weight-maintenance period were similar in men in both the groups. LPR-induced weight loss in women was associated not only with significant reductions in fat mass and circulating leptin concentrations but also with the relative abundance of bacteria of the Lachnospiraceae family in faeces. The present study shows that the Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 formulation helps obese women to achieve sustainable weight loss.
Source : British Journal of Nutrition
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Flame retardant linked to obesity in mice.
Mice fed high-fat diets gained about 30 percent more weight than other mice eating the same foods when they also ingested high doses of a flame retardant, according to a new study out of Japan.
It’s the first study to show that a brominated flame retardant may accelerate weight gain, raise blood sugar and contribute to metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
The flame retardant, hexabromocyclodecane (HBCD), is used in building materials and insulation. It accumulates in the tissues of animals and humans, and previous animal studies have shown that it may disrupt hormones, metabolism and immune systems.
Too many calories plus not enough exercise are major obesity drivers but emerging evidence suggests that exposure to some hormone-disrupting chemicals, particularly in early development, may also play a role. Some evidence, mostly with lab animals, suggests that prenatal exposure to these “obesogens” can reprogram metabolism, leading to more fat cells and raising the risk of obesity later in life, particularly in those eating high-calorie or high-fat diets.
The findings suggest that HBCD “may contribute to enhancement of diet-induced body weight gain and metabolic dysfunction,” the authors wrote in the study published online last week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
In the study, researchers split 46 adult male mice into groups receiving either a high-fat or normal diet with or without a flame retardant over a 15-week period.
The mice fed a high-fat diet with a high dose of the flame retardant gained an average of 21 grams while mice fed the same diet without the chemical gained about 16 grams. While 5 grams doesn’t seem like much, to a mouse, the difference is substantial. At the onset, the mice weighed on average 21 grams. That means mice fed the high-fat diet plus high levels of flame retardant doubled their weight.
No link to obesity, however, was found in the mice that ate a normal diet even if they were dosed with the flame retardant. “In contrast, no alterations in body and liver weight were observed in normal-diet fed mice with or without HBCD,’ the authors wrote.
The daily doses of HBCD associated with the increased weight gain were substantially higher than the average estimated dietary intake of people. Diet is considered the most important route of exposure for people, although they also are exposed through indoor dust and air, the study authors wrote.
The mice fed the flame retardant also had higher blood sugar and higher insulin levels than the unexposed mice. Their livers also weighed more and their adipose tissues were inflamed. Changes also were noted in the gene expression of their glucose transporters. The authors said this metabolic dysfunction can accelerate obesity. “These results suggest that HBCD may contribute to metabolic dysfunction via an interaction with diet, i.e., HBCD may be an ‘enhancer obesogen,’ ”they wrote.
The mice on the high-fat diet got more than 60 percent of their daily calories from fat. For people it’s recommended that 20 to 35 percent of daily calories come from fat. The high-fat diet was also higher in calories than the normal diet.
The U.S. is investigating alternatives to HBCD, and the United Nations has recommended that it be phased out. However, it is still used in large volumes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 to 50 million pounds were manufactured or imported in the U.S. in 2005.
Other chemicals linked to obesity or diabetes in animal or human studies include phthalates, perfluorinated chemicals, bisphenol A, arsenic, tributyltin and chlorinated compounds such as dioxins, PCBs and DDT.
Source : Environmental Health News
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Acute effects of violent video-game playing on blood pressure and appetite perception in normal-weight young men: a randomized controlled trial
M Siervo1, S Sabatini2, M S Fewtrell2 and J C K Wells2
- 1Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle on Tyne, UK
- 2Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
Watching television and playing video game being seated represent sedentary behaviours and increase the risk of weight gain and hypertension. We investigated the acute effects of violent and non-violent video-game playing on blood pressure (BP), appetite perception and food preferences. Forty-eight young, normal-weight men (age: 23.1±1.9 years; body mass index: 22.5±1.9 kg/m2) participated in a three-arm, randomized trial. Subjects played a violent video game, a competitive, non-violent video game or watched TV for 1 h. Measurements of BP, stress and appetite perception were recorded before a standardized meal (~300 kcal) and then repeated every 15 min throughout the intervention. Violent video-game playing was associated with a significant increase in diastolic BP (Δ±s.d.=+7.5±5.8 mm Hg; P=0.04) compared with the other two groups. Subjects playing violent video games felt less full (P=0.02) and reported a tendency towards sweet food consumption. Video games involving violence appear to be associated with significant effects on BP and appetite perceptions compared with non-violent gaming or watching TV.
Source : EU Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial
Open S Y Tan1 and R D Mattes2
- 1School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- 2Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Background/Objectives: Snacks contribute toward a significant proportion of human total daily energy intake. This study investigated the effects of almonds, a satiating and nutrient-rich, common snack, on postprandial glycemia, appetite, short-term body weight and fasting blood parameters when consumed with meals or alone as a snack.
Methods: This was a 4-week randomized, parallel-arm study that entailed consuming almonds (43 g/day) with breakfast (BF) or lunch (LN), alone as a morning (MS) or afternoon (AS) snack or no almonds (CL). Participants (N=137) with increased risk for type 2 diabetes completed an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and acute-feeding session at baseline, followed by almond consumption for 4 weeks before repeating the OGTT and acute-feeding trials. Anthropometric, biochemical and appetite responses were assessed.
Results: Almonds lowered serum glucose responses postprandially. Effects were most prominent in the snack groups. Almonds, consumed as snacks, also reduced hunger and desire to eat during the acute-feeding session. After 4 weeks, anthropometric measurements and fasting blood biochemistries did not differ from the control group or across intervention groups. Without specific guidance, daily energy intake was reduced to compensate for energy from the provided almonds. Dietary monounsaturated fat and α-tocopherol intakes were significantly increased in all almond groups.
Conclusion: Almonds provide post-ingestive metabolic and appetitive benefits and did not increase the risk for weight gain. This suggests that almonds may be a healthful snack option.
Source : EU Journal Clinical Nutrition
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Efficacy and Tolerability of an Herbal Formulation for Weight Management
Judith S. Stern,1,2 Jan Peerson,1,3 Artatrana T. Mishra,4 Venkata Sadasiva Rao Mathukumalli,5 and Poorna Rajeswari Konda6
1Department of Nutrition, University of California–Davis, Davis, California, USA.
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of California–Davis, Davis, California, USA.
3Program in International and Community Nutrition, University of California–Davis, Davis, California, USA.
4Department of General Medicine, Nagarjuna Hospitals, Vijayawada, India.
5Department of Internal Medicine, Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences (ASRAM), Eluru, India.6Suraksha Health Village, Vijayawada, India.
The clinical effects and tolerability of a novel herbal formulation comprising the extracts o Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana were assessed in two similarly designed randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled,clinical trials in 100 human subjects with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40kg/m2. Participants were randomized into two groups receiving either 400mg of herbal blend twice daily or two identical placebo capsules. All subjects received three meals (2000kcal/day) throughout the study and walked 5 days a week for 30min. The primary outcome was reduction inbody weight. Secondary outcomes were reduction in BMI and in waist and hip circumference. Serum glycemic, lipid, and adiponectin levels were also measured. Ninety-five subjects completed the trials, and data from these two studies were pooled and analyzed. At study conclusion (8 weeks), statistically significant reductions in body weight (5.2kg;P<.0001), BMI(2.2kg/m2;P<.0001), as well as waist (11.9cm;P<.0001) and hip circumferences (6.3cm;P=.0001) were observed in th eherbal group compared with placebo. An increase in serum adiponectin concentration was also found in the herbal grou pversus placebo (P=.0008) at study conclusion along with reductions in fasting blood glucose (12.2%,P=.01), cholesterol(13.8%,P=.002), and triglyceride (41.6%,P<.0001) concentrations. No changes were seen across organ function panels,multiple vital signs, and no major adverse events were reported. The minor adverse events were equally distributed between the two groups. Our findings suggest that the herbal blend appears to be a well-tolerated and effective ingredient for weight management.
Source : Journal of Medicinal Food
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A systematic review of anti-obesity medicinal plants - an update
Shirin Hasani-Ranjbar 1,2, Zahra Jouyandeh2 and Mohammad Abdollahi3*
1 Obesity & Eating Habits Research Center, Endocrinology & Metabolism Research Institute, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Endocrinology & Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology & Metabolism Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Obesity is the most prevalent health problem affecting all age groups, and leads to many complications in the form of chronic heart disease, diabetes mellitus Type 2 and stroke. A systematic review about safety and efficacy of herbal medicines in the management of obesity in human was carried out by searching bibliographic data bases such as, PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and IranMedex, for studies reported between 30th December 2008 to 23rd April 2012 on human or animals, investigating the beneficial and harmful effects of herbal medicine to treat obesity. Actually we limited our search to such a narrow window of time in order to update our article published before December of 2008. In this update, the search terms were “obesity” and (“herbal medicine” or “plant”, “plant medicinal” or “medicine traditional”) without narrowing or limiting search items. Publications with available abstracts were reviewed only. Total publications found in the initial search were 651. Total number of publications for review study was 33 by excluding publications related to animals study.
Studies with Nigella Sativa, Camellia Sinensis, Crocus Sativus L, Seaweed laminaria Digitata, Xantigen, virgin olive oil, Catechin enriched green tea, Monoselect Camellia, Oolong tea, Yacon syrup, Irvingia Gabonensi, Weighlevel, RCM-104 compound of Camellia Sinensis, Pistachio, Psyllium fibre, black Chinese tea, sea buckthorn and bilberries show significant decreases in body weight. Only, alginate-based brown seaweed and Laminaria Digitata caused an abdominal bloating and upper respiratory tract infection as the side effect in the trial group. No other significant adverse effects were reported in all 33 trials included in this article.
In conclusion, Nigella Sativa, Camellia Synensis, Green Tea, and Black Chinese Tea seem to have satisfactory anti-obesity effects. The effect size of these medicinal plants is a critical point that should be considered for interpretation. Although there was no report for side effect in these trials, we believe that safety of these plants still remains to be elucidated by further long-term studies.
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Study links food-packaging chemical and obesity in girls
Unhealthy diets and limited physical activity are leading causes of obesity in children, and now new research adds to growing evidence that the chemical BPA found in food packaging may be partly to blame.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows girls between ages 9 and 12 with high BPA levels had double the risk of being obese than girls with low BPA levels, validating previous animal and human studies, said Kimberly Gray, a health scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
BPA, or bisphenol-A , is a chemical laced in everything from plastic bottles to metal food containers. The chemical can alter the body's metabolism and make it harder to lose weight, experts said.
The study by Kaiser Permanente draws on urine samples of 1,326 male and female children from fourth through 12th grades at three Shanghai schools. Researchers took into account common obesity risk factors, including diet, mental health, amount of physical activity, and family history.
Girls between ages 9 and 12 with high levels of BPA — 2 micrograms per liter or more — were two times more likely to be obese than girls with lower levels of BPA in the same age group. Girls with very high levels of BPA — more than 10 micrograms per liter — were five times more likely to be obese, the study shows.
"There's this dogma that weight is about calories simply going in and out. This research suggests that's simply not the case," said Bruce Blumberg, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Blumberg was not involved in the study.
Here's the catch: Researchers did not find any significant relationship between BPA and obesity levels in girls older than 12 and boys of all ages. Puberty-age girls could be more sensitive to the impact of BPA on metabolism, said lead researcher De-Kun Li.
"It's the proverbial chicken-egg scenario. We could be seeing the opposite trend at work," said Leonardo Trasande, associate professor of environmental medicine and pediatrics at New York University (NYU).
Because BPA easily absorbs into fatty tissue, children with obesity could also be more likely to secrete the chemical, said John Meeker, associate professor of environmental health science at the University of Michigan.
Li dismissed the claim, saying that if obese children secreted more BPA, obese children in all age groups would have high BPA levels and they didn't see that pattern.
The new study confirms a 2012 study by NYU researchers which found that more than 22% of kids and teens ages 6 to 19 with the highest BPA levels were obese. Kids and teens with low BPA levels had a 10% risk of obesity, according to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains the safety of the low exposure levels of BPA in food packaging and will review the study to address BPA safety, said FDA spokesperson Theresa Eisenman.
"Attempts to link our national obesity problem to minute exposures to chemicals found in common, everyday products are a distraction from the real efforts underway to address this important national health issue," the American Chemistry Council, a major trade association, wrote in a statement.
Long-term, population-based studies that track BPA from the womb to early adulthood are required to confirm the relationship. Urine samples fail to measure BPA lodged in tissue and more specific measures of obesity and hormones are needed, Gray said.
Researchers of the new study plan to examine BPA exposure in the womb, Li said.
What's the takeaway? BPA exposure is nearly ubiquitous, said Philip Gruppuso, professor of pediatrics at Brown University. More than 92% of Americans older than age 6 have detectable levels of BPA in their body, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.
Gruppuso advises parents to limit use of food packaged in plastic and avoid heating infant formulas — but with a grain of salt.
"You can go crazy trying to think of all the things you might do to prevent exposure," he said. "Don't over-interpret the results. The major hazard may not be the plastic but the food the plastic is used to wrap up."
Source : USA Today
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Green Tea and Weight Loss and Diabetes
Evidence has shown that green tea extract may be an effective herbal remedy useful for weight control and helping to regulate glucose in type 2 diabetes. In order to ascertain whether green tea truly has this potential, Jae-Hyung Park and his colleagues from the Keimyung University School of Medicine in the Republic of Korea conducted a study, now published in the Springer journal Naunyn-Schmedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology. The active constituents of green tea, which have been shown to inhibit intestinal glucose and lipid uptake, are a certain type of flavonoid called gallated catechins. The authors had previously suggested that the amount of gallated catechins necessary to reduce blood glucose concentrations can be achieved from a daily dose of green tea. However, the amount of green tea needed to decrease lipid uptake from the gut is higher and has been shown to have adverse effects in humans. Once in the bloodstream, gallated catechins can actually increase insulin resistance, which is a negative consequence especially in obese and diabetic patients.
For their study, the researchers tested the effects of green tea extract on body weight and glucose intolerance in both diabetic mice and normal mice fed a high-fat diet. To prevent a high dose of gallated catechins from reaching the bloodstream, the authors also used a non-toxic resin, polyethylene glycol, to bind the gallated catechins in the gut to prevent their absorption. They then looked at the effects on the mice of eating green tea extract alone, and eating green tea extract plus polyethylene glycol. They compared these against the effects of two other therapeutic drugs routinely prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
Results showed that green tea extract in isolation did not give any improvements in body weight and glucose intolerance. However, when green tea extract was given with polyethylene glycol, there was a significant reduction in body weight gain, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in both normal mice on a high fat diet and diabetic mice. The polyethylene glycol had the effect of prolonging the amount of time the gallated catechins remained in the intestines, thereby limiting glucose absorption for a longer period.
Interestingly, the effects of the green tea extract in both the intestines and in the circulation were measurable at doses which could be achieved by drinking green tea on a daily basis. In addition, the effects of green tea extract were comparable to those found when taking two of the drugs which are currently recommended for non-insulin dependent diabetes.
The authors conclude that "dietary green tea extract and polyethylene glycol alleviated body weight gain and insulin resistance in diabetic and high-fat mice, thus ameliorating glucose intolerance. Therefore the green tea extract and polyethylene glycol complex may be a preventative and therapeutic tool for obesity and obesity-related type 2 diabetes without too much concern about side effects."
Source : Science Daily
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Dietary Antioxidants: From Micronutrients and Phytochemicals to Enzymes – Preventive Effects on Early Atherosclerosis and Obesity
Sylvie Gaillet1, Dominique Lacan2 and Jean-Max Rouanet1
1UMR 204 NUTRIPASS, Université Montpellier
2, Montpellier, 2BIONOV S.A.R.L., Montpellier, France
Development of atherosclerosis is thought to be closely dependent upon increased oxidative stress, that is, an imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS). Elsewhere, high-fat diets and sedentary lifestyles are important risk factors for obesity, which is a key feature of metabolic syndrome and which greatly predisposes individuals to liver diseases, cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and numerous cancers and is associated with markedly diminished life expectancy. Today, due to oxidative stress, the postulated involvement of lipid peroxidation in atherogenesis and obesity invoked intensive interest in the use of antioxidant nutritional supplements. Epidemiological evidence suggests that intake of some vitamins, minerals, and other food constituents may help to protect against heart disease, obesity, cancer and the aging process and that antioxidants may have a protective effect, in either preventing these diseases or lessening the severity of the diseases upon their onset
.....Dietary antioxidants can play a key role in the regulation of the oxidant status and it seems essential to develop and utilise natural antioxidants so that they can retard the progress of many chronic diseases. The consumption of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables that generally supplies minerals, vitamins, fibers, phytochemicals such as phenolics but also provides antioxidant enzymes is therefore advised
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Intensive Program May Reverse Diabetes
Intense lifestyle-based weight-loss interventions were associated with a partial remission of diabetes, researchers found.
Compared with an education and support intervention for diabetes patients, those engaged in an intense weight-loss and lifestyle intervention were more likely to experience any remission at year 1 (11.5% versus 7.3%, P<0.001), and were more likely to see that remission continuously sustained over 3 years of measurements (9.2%, 6.4%, and 3.5% versus 1.7%, 1.3%, and 0.5%, respectively), according to Edward Gregg, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues.
Participants in the intervention group also lost significantly more weight at two follow-up periods (a difference of 7.9% at year one and 3.9% at year four, P<0.001 for both), and significantly fewer participants in the weight-loss intervention who experienced remission returned to clinical diabetes status at each point of follow-up, they wrote online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers also noted that the weight-loss intervention was particularly effective in "those whose diabetes is of short duration, who have lower hemoglobin A levels, and who do not yet require insulin therapy."
Patients diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes frequently ask if their condition is reversible, and "some physicians may provide hopeful advice that lifestyle change can normalize glucose levels," they wrote in the introduction to their findings. "However, the rate of remission of type 2 diabetes that may be achieved using nonsurgical approaches has not been reported."
To help clarify the issue, the researchers investigated the outcomes of a long-term (4 years) intensive weight-loss intervention on frequency of remission from diabetes to prediabetes or normoglycemia in 2,241 participants and compared them with a sample of 2,262 diabetes patients participating in a diabetes and support education intervention.
The intensive weight-loss intervention included weekly group and individual counseling for the first 6 months focused on reducing caloric intake, decreasing consumption of total and saturated fats, and increasing physical activities; this was followed by three sessions per month for the second 6 months and twice-monthly sessions over years 2 to 4. Participants also were offered liquid meal replacements to help with dietary goals.
In the support education intervention participants were given three group sessions annually that offered information on diet, physical activity, and social support.
Participants in each group were evaluated at baseline and once at each year of the 4 years of follow-up for health status, including body mass index and glycemic status. Participant fitness also was assessed at baseline through a maximal graded exercise test and at years one and four through a submaximal exercise test.
The participants were 45 to 75 years old with a mean age of 59 years, had a median time since diabetes diagnosis of 5 years, and were "notably obese at baseline."
In addition to losing more weight, the weight-loss intervention group had greater increases in fitness in years one and four (20.6% versus 4.9% and 5.3% versus 1.5%, respectively, P<0.001 for both) than those in the education group.
Complete remission -- defined as glucose normalization without medication -- was more common among the lifestyle weight-loss participants than the education group (prevalence ratio 6.6, 95% CI 3.3 to 13.3, P<0.001). Absolute prevalence of complete remission was low overall, the authors noted.
Participants were significantly more likely to experience either partial or complete remission in the lifestyle intervention than in the education intervention at years 1 and 4 (P<0.001 for both).
Return to clinical diabetes status occurred in roughly one-third of the lifestyle intervention group each year (33.1% at year two, 33.8% at year three, and 31.6% at year four) versus around half among participants in the education group (52.4% at year two, 45.9% at year three, and 43.8% at year four).
In addition, continuous, sustained remission was significantly more common among weight-loss intervention participants than in the education group at years two to four (P<0.001 for all).
In an accompanying editorial, David Arterburn, MD, of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle Wash., and Patrick O'Connor, MD, of the Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis, Minn., noted that neither intervention translated to "lower rates of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for angina, or death compared with conventional diabetes treatment."
They editorialists speculated that this was due to overall lower-than-expected rates of cardiovascular events due to improved risk factor control in each group, improved critical care after acute cardiovascular events, a healthier-than-expected cohort, and exclusion of participants with high cardiovascular risk at baseline.
They also noted that bariatric surgery achieves an effective reduction in cardiovascular events and mortality rates.
The study was limited by a lack of pure intention-to-treat approach, a non-ideal study population that likely underestimated frequency of remission, lack of evaluation of each intervention's impact on insulin resistance, and greater likelihood of healthcare professionals modifying medications in the education group.
Source : MedPage Today
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Playing Sports Helps Teens Fight Fat
Team sports may fight weight problems better than other forms of exercise among high schoolers, researchers found.
Playing in three or more sports per year cut risk of overweight or obesity by 27% compared with no participation (95% CI 0.61 to 0.87), according to results from a longitudinal survey-based study by Keith Drake, BA, of Dartmouth College in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues.
Walking or biking to school cut risk of obesity but not overweight, while gym class had no impact on weight status, the group reported in the August issue of Pediatrics.
"High school sports participation typically involves regular practices and competitions, leading to consistent moderate to strenuous activity, which may explain the strength of its relationship with weight status compared with other forms of physical activity," they wrote.
At a time when many schools are cutting back on sports over budget concerns, focusing in on what works best is key, Drake's group suggested.
"Increasing opportunities for all adolescents, regardless of athletic ability, to participate in sports should be prioritized for obesity prevention," they argued.
The researchers analyzed data from telephone surveys with 1,718 high school students and their parents as part of a larger 7-year longitudinal study at 26 randomly selected New Hampshire and Vermont public schools.
Among the mostly ninth and 10th graders, 29% were overweight or obese and 13% were obese.
Participation in school sports teams was common:
- 17.4% played on one team over the course of the prior year
- 18.6% played on two teams over the past year
- 35.3% played on three or more sports teams per year
Teens in two or more sports in the prior 12 months were 22% less likely to be overweight or obese and 39% less likely to be obese than those who didn't participate (adjusted P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively).
Those on three or more teams over the same period were 27% less likely to be overweight or obese and 39% less likely to be obese than those not on any sports teams (both adjusted P<0.001).
Active commuting to school by foot or bike also tended to help against obesity, but only reached statistical significance for the 10% of kids who did so on more than 3.5 days a week (adjusted risk ratio 0.67, P<0.05). Active commuting had no impact on combined risk of overweight or obesity.
More frequent walking or cycling other places, playing sports or other physical activity for fun, or having had physical education class in the prior week didn't have an impact on either weight category.
Gym has been shown to help for younger children in prior studies, but "PE classes may not involve a substantial enough duration or intensity level of physical activity to affect overall energy balance in high school students," the researchers suggested.
An attributable risk analysis controlling for all other factors suggested that if all high school students were to play on two sports a year:
- Rates of overweight or obesity would fall by a relative 10%, from 29% to 26%
- Obesity prevalence would drop by 26%, from 13% to 10%
The researchers cautioned that those estimates assumed a causal link between physical activity and weight status. A bigger limitation was the study's reliance on self-reported height, weight, and physical activity.
National rates of sports participation are lower and obesity rates higher than in the cohort studied, the group noted.
"Our estimates of the potential benefit of increasing sports participation would be even higher in areas with lower rates of sports participation and higher rates of overweight/obesity, as in most of the country," they concluded.
Primary source: Pediatrics
Drake KM, et al "Influence of sports, physical education, and active commuting to school on adolescent weight status" Pediatrics 2012; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2898.
Source : MedPage Today
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Secondhand Smoke is Linked to Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
Adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke have higher rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes than do nonsmokers without environmental exposure to tobacco smoke, a new study shows. The results will be presented Sunday at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.“More effort needs to be made to reduce exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke,” said study co-author Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles.
Studies have shown an association between cigarette smoking and an increased rate of Type 2 diabetes despite the fact that most smokers are leaner than nonsmokers and obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Although some studies have suggested a relationship between Type 2 diabetes and passive, or secondhand, smoking, Friedman said these studies have not verified exposure to secondhand smoke through serum (blood) levels of cotinine. Cotinine is a metabolite of nicotine, and serum cotinine measures a person’s exposure to tobacco smoke.
In their current study, Friedman and his fellow researchers used serum cotinine levels to verify passive smoking. They examined data from more than 6,300 adults who participated from 2001 to 2006 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.
The investigators defined current smokers, which made up 25 percent of the sample, as survey participants who reported that they smoke cigarettes and who had a measured serum cotinine level greater than 3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Nonsmokers (41 percent of the sample) were those who answered “no” to the question “Do you smoke cigarettes?” and who had a cotinine level below 0.05 ng/mL. Participants who answered “no” to this question but whose cotinine level was above 0.05 ng/mL were defined as secondhand “smokers” (34 percent).
In analyzing these groups, the researchers controlled for age, sex, race, alcohol consumption and physical activity. They found that, compared with nonsmokers, secondhand smokers had a higher measure of insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to Type 2 diabetes; higher levels of fasting blood glucose, or blood sugar; and a higher hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months.
Secondhand smokers also had a higher rate of Type 2 diabetes, as defined by a hemoglobin A1c greater than 6.5 percent. Secondhand smokers had a similar rate of diabetes to that of current smokers, according to Friedman.
Secondhand smokers also had a higher body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, compared with nonsmokers, Friedman reported. Current smokers had a lower BMI than nonsmokers but a higher hemoglobin A1c. When the researchers controlled for BMI, they found that secondhand smokers and current smokers still had a higher hemoglobin A1c than did nonsmokers.
“This finding shows that the association between secondhand smoke and Type 2 diabetes was not due to obesity,” Friedman said. “More studies are needed to show whether secondhand smoke is a cause of diabetes.”
Source : Newswise
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Ursolic Acid: Apple Peel Compound Reduces Obesity In Mice
A new study shows that ursolic acid, a natural substance found in apple peel, can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects.
Obviously ursolic acid, a lipophilic pentacyclic triterpenoid that contributes to the waxy coats on fruits and various herbs, can't be a license to eat ice cream and pizza every day but it seems to increase the amount of muscle and brown fat, two tissues recognized for their calorie-burning properties. Until recently, it was believed that only infants had brown fat, which then disappeared during childhood, but improved imaging techniques have shown that adults do retain a very small amount of the substance - mostly in the neck and between the shoulder blades. Some studies have linked increased levels of brown fat with lower levels of obesity and healthier levels of blood sugar and blood lipid, leading to the suggestion that brown fat may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes.
The study had mice on a high-fat diet over a period of several weeks. Half of the animals also received ursolic acid in their high-fat food. Mice whose diet included ursolic acid actually ate more food than mice not getting the supplement and there was no difference in activity between the two groups. Despite this, the ursolic acid-treated mice gained less weight and their blood sugar level remained near normal. Ursolic acid-treated mice also failed to develop obesity-related fatty liver disease, a common and currently untreatable condition that affects about one in five American adults.
"From previous work, we knew that ursolic acid increases muscle mass and strength in healthy mice, which is important because it might suggest a potential therapy for muscle wasting," said Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa. "In this study, we tested ursolic acid in mice on a high-fat diet -- a mouse model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Once again, ursolic acid increased skeletal muscle. Interestingly, it also reduced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease. Since muscle is very good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acid-treated mice may be sufficient to explain how ursolic acid reduces obesity. However, we were surprised to find that ursolic acid also increased brown fat, a fantastic calorie burner. This increase in brown fat may also help protect against obesity."
Further study showed that ursolic acid consumption increased skeletal muscle, increasing the animals' strength and endurance, and also boosted the amount of brown fat. Because both muscle and brown fat burn calories, the researchers investigated energy expenditure in the mice and showed that ursolic acid-fed mice burned more calories than mice that didn't get the supplement.
"Our study suggests that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat leading to increased calorie burning, which in turn protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease," Adams says. "Brown fat is beneficial and people are trying to figure out ways to increase it. At this point, we don't know how ursolic acid increases brown fat, or if it increases brown fat in healthy mice. And, most importantly, we don't know if ursolic acid will benefit people. Our next step is to determine if ursolic acid can help patients."
Citation: Kunkel SD, Elmore CJ, Bongers KS, Ebert SM, Fox DK, et al. (2012) Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Brown Fat and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver Disease. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39332. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039332
Source : Science 2.0
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Childrens body fat linked to low vitamin D in moms
Low vitamin D status has been linked to obesity in adults and children, but little is known about how variation in a mother’s status affects the body composition of her child.
Low vitamin D status is common among young women in the UK, and although women are recommended to take an additional 10μg/day of vitamin D in pregnancy, supplementation is currently not routine.
In new research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists at the University of Southampton have compared the vitamin D status of 977 pregnant women with the body composition of their children.
The differences in the children’s body fat could not be explained by other factors such as mother’s weight gain in pregnancy, or how physically active the children were. The 977 women are part of the Southampton Women’s Survey, one of the largest women’s surveys in the UK.
Siân Robinson, principal research fellow at the University of Southampton, who led the study, says: “In the context of current concerns about low vitamin D status in young women, and increasing rates of childhood obesity in the UK, we need to understand more about the long-term health consequences for children who are born to mothers who have low vitamin D status.
“Although there is growing evidence that vitamin D status is linked to body fatness in children and adults, this research now suggests that the mother’s status in pregnancy could be important, too.
“An interpretation of our data is that there could be programmed effects on the fetus arising from a lack of maternal vitamin D that remain with the baby and predispose him or her to gain excess body fat in later childhood. Although further studies are needed, our findings add weight to current concerns about the prevalence of low vitamin D status among women of reproductive age.”
Source : Futurity.org
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Unmasking Black Pepper's Secrets as a Fat Fighter
A new study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research, published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pinpoints piperine -- the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine also can block the formation of new fat cells.
Soo-Jong Um, Ji-Cheon Jeong and colleagues describe previous studies indicating that piperine reduces fat levels in the bloodstream and has other beneficial health effects. Black pepper and the black pepper plant, they note, have been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine to treat gastrointestinal distress, pain, inflammation and other disorders. Despite that long medicinal history, scientists know little about how piperine works on the innermost molecular level. The scientists set out to get that information about piperine's anti-fat effects.
Their laboratory studies and computer models found that piperine interferes with the activity of genes that control the formation of new fat cells. In doing so, piperine may also set off a metabolic chain reaction that helps keep fat in check in other ways. The group suggests that the finding may lead to wider use of piperine or black-pepper extracts in fighting obesity and related diseases.
Journal Reference - Ui-Hyun Park, Hong-Suk Jeong, Eun-Young Jo, Taesun Park, Seung Kew Yoon, Eun-Joo Kim, Ji-Cheon Jeong, Soo-Jong Um. Piperine, a Component of Black Pepper, Inhibits Adipogenesis by Antagonizing PPARγ Activity in 3T3-L1 Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (15): 3853 DOI: 10.1021/jf204514a
Source : Science Daily
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