Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Food Supplement Could Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Atherosclerosis

Date:
March 12, 2007
Source:
Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology
Summary:
The health benefits of cutting down on dietary saturated fatty acids and including higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids are well documented. Nutritional research is focusing on the effects of incorporating these healthier fatty acids, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), into animal and human diets.

Teagasc have conducted studies in Ireland to increase the concentration of CLA in livestock.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Teagasc

The health benefits of cutting down on dietary saturated fatty acids and including higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids are well documented. Nutritional research is focusing on the effects of incorporating these healthier fatty acids, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), into animal and human diets. CLA is present in dairy products and meat from ruminants and in very low amounts in our bodies.

Related Articles


Health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Dr Helen Roche, a senior lecturer in molecular nutrition in Trinity College Dublin, has been studying CLA and its biological properties for several years. "CLA seems to protect cells programmed to become diabetic against development of diabetes and it also prevents disease processes that lead to atherosclerosis, chronic inflammation and colon cancer," says Dr Roche.

Classified as a nutraceutical or nutritional supplement, CLA is thought to change the balance between fat cells and muscle cells in the body and is currently on sale in health shops as a supplement to help people improve their body tone.

"The problem is that commercially available supplements contain two forms of the compound known as isomers," explains Dr Paul Evans, a researcher with the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB). "Isomers are molecules that have the same molecular formula but the atoms are arranged differently in space. In the case of CLA one isomer known as cis-9-trans-11 CLA has beneficial effects but the other form, trans-10-cis-12 CLA, can be detrimental and could induce a diabetic state."

Discovering a selective way to synthesise the beneficial CLA isomer

Dr Evans and his group while working at the School of Chemistry in Trinity College Dublin discovered a way to selectively synthesise the beneficial cis-9-trans-11 CLA in large quantities.

During the CLA project the group also found a method for making trans-vaccenic acid (TVA), the precursor to CLA. Evidence suggests that TVA is converted into CLA by an enzyme in the bovine mammary gland and muscle and by a bacterial enzyme in the human intestine.

"Now that we have a supply of the beneficial form of CLA and TVA we can carry out nutritional studies to determine whether the health effects ascribed to CLA are due to the fatty acid alone or attributable to the metabolic conversion of TVA into CLA," says Dr Roche.

Studying the benefits of trans vaccenic acid (TVA) in livestock

Teagasc have also conducted studies to increase the concentration of CLA in livestock. In a feeding trial conducted in Moorepark they reported that in grazing situations where the levels of CLA were already high in milk fat, they could be increased further by supplementing pasture diets with full fat rapeseeds and soybeans, which are both good sources of unsaturated fatty acids.2

A Teagasc research group led by Dr Aidan Moloney in County Meath has now turned their attention to studying the conversion of TVA into CLA by livestock as this metabolic process may hold the key to explaining some of the benefits of CLA. The study aims to demonstrate the beneficial effects of CLA from beef as well as from chemically synthesised CLA.

"TVA is produced by cattle during digestion of unsaturated fatty acids. We are trying to increase TVA, and to understand how it is converted to CLA in muscle," explains Dr Moloney. "We want to investigate whether increasing TVA by manipulation of the diet of cattle will result in healthier animals and in turn produce higher quality meat and dairy products for the consumer."

Future prospects

The new synthetic methods have enabled the preparation of multi-gram quantities of these biologically important fatty acids.

"This collaborative approach paves the way for developing a pure nutraceutical which could be incorporated into our diet to help protect us against heart disease and diabetes," concludes Dr Evans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. "Food Supplement Could Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311204125.htm>.
Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. (2007, March 12). Food Supplement Could Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Atherosclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311204125.htm
Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. "Food Supplement Could Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311204125.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins