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New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat

Date:
November 8, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study focuses on healthful natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids. Researchers point out that large amounts of those compounds occur in fruits, vegetables, nuts and plant-based beverages such as coffee, tea, and wine.

Scientists in Taiwan report new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity.
Credit: Courtesy of USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Peggy Greb

Scientists in Taiwan are reporting new insights into why diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of obesity. Their study focuses on healthful natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids and phenolic acids.

In the study, Gow-Chin Yen and Chin-Lin Hsu point out that large amounts of those compounds occur in fruits, vegetables, nuts and plant-based beverages such as coffee, tea, and wine. Scientists long have known that flavonoids and phenolic acids have beneficial health effects in reducing the risk of heart attacks, cancer, obesity, and other disorders. However, there has been uncertainty about exactly how these compounds affect adipocytes, or fat cells.

The researchers studied how 15 phenolic acids and six flavonoids affected fat cells in laboratory cultures of mouse cells. Their results showed that fat cells exposed to certain antioxidants had lower levels of an enzyme that forms triglycerides and accumulated lower levels of triglycerides -- fatty materials which at high levels increase the risk of heart disease.

The findings suggest that these compounds could be effective in improving the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms like obesity and high blood sugar that increase the risk of heart disease, the researchers said.

The study "Effects of Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids on the Inhibition of Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes" was published Oct. 17 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


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


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American Chemical Society. "New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105095107.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, November 8). New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105095107.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Insights Into How Natural Antioxidants Fight Fat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105095107.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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