For her thesis entitled Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Resveratrol: the effect of these functional ingredients on the metabolism of triglycerides and adiposity, nutrition and obesity research team member at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Ms Arrate Lasa, studied the fat-reducing effect of CLA and resveratrol.
Obesity is a very common illness in developed countries, there being more than 1,000 million overweight persons currently in the world, of which more than 300 million suffer from obesity. This illness brings with it other, associated conditions that result in a significant increase in the morbi-mortality of these persons.
Current strategies for its treatment are various and one field of great interest is what is known as functional ingredients. These are compounds that appear in certain foods and that enhance specific corporal functions, promoting health and reducing risk of diseases.
Fat reduction with functional ingredients
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and resveratrol are two functional ingredients that, in various experiments on living beings and in vitro, have proved to have a fat-reducing effect. On the one hand, the properties attributed to CLA indicate that it prevents weight gain and the accumulation of body fat, through inhibiting the synthesis of fat and increasing the oxidation of fatty acids. However, its effects when applied in a hypocaloric diet – for the treatment of obesity – are unknown. On the other, it is known that resveratrol has hypolipemiant properties, but its effect on the use of accumulated fat has not been extensively analysed.
This thesis shows, on the one hand, the results obtained after treatment with CLA in hamsters subjected to energy restriction and, on the other, the effect of resveratrol on accumulated fat and lipolytic activity in cell cultures of adipocytes of murinae and humans. The results obtained show that CLA does not foment weight or body fat loss, induced by an energy restriction diet. Neither does it induce greater lipolysis, nor improvement in serum parameters, in glucose homeostasis or insulin function to any greater extent than with the slimming diet itself. On the contrary, resveratrol reduces the accumulation of triglycerides, in part by activation of lipolysis, in both the adipocytes of mice and of humans.
For all these reasons, it can be concluded that, while CLA may not be a molecule useful in treating obesity, when resveratrol is included in hypocaloric diet, it could well be a useful tool for reducing body fat. More studies are required regarding this latter molecule, firstly to describe other effects of resveratrol and its activating mechanisms, as well as the possible adverse effects and toxicity; secondly studies amongst humans confirm the previously observed effects.
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