Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slimming soybeans are on the horizon

Date:
April 2, 2010
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
If you're serious about losing weight, consider soybeans. New research provides insight into the way a certain type of soy protein inhibits fat accumulation and reduces inflammation.

If you're serious about losing weight, check out recent studies done in Elvira de Mejia's University of Illinois laboratory. Her research provides insight into the way a certain type of soy protein inhibits fat accumulation and reduces inflammation.

Related Articles


"We found that soybeans rich in beta-conglycinins limit lipid accumulation in fat cells by inhibiting an enzyme called fatty acid synthase. What's more, we have identified the specific peptides (digested proteins) that do this, and we are now beginning to understand the mechanism behind it. This is exciting research because it could lead to the development of nutraceuticals to fight obesity," said de Mejia, a U of I associate professor of food science and human nutrition.

The study was also the first to establish the anti-inflammatory properties of soy high in this type of protein. "The peptides fight inflammation by blocking key enzymes in the body's immune response," said the scientist.

de Mejia said that soy contains, among others, two types of protein, glycinins and beta-conglycinins, and the most important factor influencing a soy cultivar's healthful effects is the proportion in which they occur. Her research shows that soy that is low in glycinins and high in beta-conglycinins is preferred for its ability to inhibit lipid accumulation and inflammation.

"Using the latest molecular marker-assisted breeding techniques, soybeans with the right composition can be tagged and later identified using a simple leaf tissue sample. This would make it possible to create high-yielding cultivars that contained the 'slimming' trait for soybean farmers to grow in their fields," she said.

How did de Mejia discover that certain soybeans had this slimming effect? She had learned from her previous research that administration of soy protein caused weight loss in laboratory rats, but she wanted to know exactly why it happened.

She incubated human fat cells in the lab, treated them with soy hydrolysates from 15 soy genotypes containing varying amounts of beta-conglycinin, and then measured the amount of fat that accumulated.

"As we increased the concentration of beta-conglycinin, we saw more inhibition of lipids and less accumulation of fat. Further testing showed that this occurred because fatty acid synthase, an enzyme responsible for synthesizing lipids, had been suppressed.

"We also found that fat cells exposed to digests made from the 'slimming' soybeans increased the synthesis of adiponectin, a hormone that enhances insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism," she said.

She then compared the activity of beta-conglycinins with glycinins and found that hydrolysates from beta-conglycinins inhibited almost 50 percent of lipid accumulation in the fat cells. Glycinins did not inhibit lipid accumulation at all, she said.

In a separate study, her team identified specific soy peptides that inhibit fatty acid synthase, and they were able to learn exactly how it happens.

de Mejia and her colleagues are now taking their research a step further by performing human trials with soy milk that is high in beta-conglycinins.

"For years we've known that soy protein is a good source of essential amino acids. Soy helps us maintain muscle mass, and its peptides make people feel full so they don't eat as much," she said.

"Now it appears that products made from soybeans selected for this particular protein profile may also help limit fat accumulation. Food manufacturers will be able to create soy products targeted at consumers who are trying to maintain their ideal weight," she said.

The first study appeared in a recent issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Cristina Martinez-Villaluenga and Vermont P. Dia of the University of Illinois, Mark Berhow of the Agricultural Research Service, and Neal A. Bringe of The Monsanto Company are co-authors.

It was supported by Monsanto, whose geneticists provided the 15 soy genotypes; the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES); and a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship for Career Development.

The study that identifies the specific peptides and the mechanism by which they inhibit fatty acid synthase appears in FEBS Journal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristina Martinez-Villaluenga, Sanjeewa G. Rupasinghe, Mary A. Schuler, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia. select this item for viewing Peptides from purified soybean beta-conglycinin inhibit fatty acid synthase by interaction with the thioesterase catalytic domain. FEBS Journal, Volume 277, Issue 6, Date: March 2010, Pages: 1481-1493 DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07577.x

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Slimming soybeans are on the horizon." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401131751.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2010, April 2). Slimming soybeans are on the horizon. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401131751.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Slimming soybeans are on the horizon." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401131751.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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