Category Archives: Weight Loss

Resveratrol in grapes stimulates obesity fighting hormone

Resveratrol properties for fighting obesity have been found by researchers.

Scientists have discovered the health compound, a polyphenol, found in grapes stimulates an important fat regulating hormone known as adiponectin that is linked to obesity.

The hormone has many health benefits, some of which have recently been discovered. Adiponectin stimulates appetite, helps control blood sugar levels and is found to be lower in obese individuals. In mice fed a high fat diet, higher levels of adiponectin made them resistant to obesity.

Higher levels of adiponectin produced by resveratrol could mean less risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Senior author Feng Liu, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and member of the Barshop Institute of Longevity and Aging Studies at University of Texas Health Science Center confirmed findings that resveratrol stimulates adiponectin in lab and mouse studies that could lead to obesity treatment options.

Liu says, “Results from these studies should be of interest to those who are obese, diabetic and growing older.” He also says understanding how resveratrol stimulates the beneficial fat hormone could lead to new treatment options for the conditions and other age-related illnesses.

Last year the same researchers made an important anti-aging discovery that shows resveratrol stops activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Mice were found to live longer with decreased TOR activity, leading scientists to pursue the mTOR pathway response for clues that might help people live long, healthy, disease free lives.

Resveratrol is shown to have many health benefits. It is found naturally in grapes and is linked to the health benefits of drinking red wine. The new findings show resveratrol stimulates the beneficial fat hormone adiponectin that can help fight a variety of diseases brought about by obesity.


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A Better Diet Through Online Shopping?

Better Diet Through Internet

We all know that people should eat less saturated fat, but it can be hard to achieve changes in behaviour. Rachel Huxley and colleagues from the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia, wanted to find out whether dietary advice delivered through an internet shopping system could help people make healthier food choices. They conducted a randomized trial, offering participants using an internet shopping system the chance to receive either general dietary advice (the trial’s control) or tailored advice which prompted shoppers to replace items with alternatives lower in saturated fat.

Participants receiving tailored advice on diet bought foods containing less saturated fat, on average, than the participants only getting general advice.

Low-cost technologies delivered through the internet have the potential to motivate users to change their behaviour and follow a better diet. Rachel Huxley, from The George Institute of International Health and one of the authors of the study, says: “The great thing about this result is that it represents a simple, low cost step that food retailers could make now. We will be contacting each of the major Internet shopping operators in Australia to find out their interest in working with us to turn this research into reality. We hope that by publishing the article in an open access journal like PLoS the results will reach the maximum possible number of people, worldwide.”

The results are published in PLoS Clinical Trials, an open-access journal that aims to increase the reporting of clinical trials. Steve Nissen, from the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA, and a member of the editorial board of PLoS Clinical Trials, says: “I applaud the commitment of PLoS Clinical Trials to provide open access to randomized clinical trial reports so that investigators throughout the world can freely examine the results of these studies.”

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How Diet Affects The Immune System

Diet and Metabolism

“This study may help explain the link between dietary fat consumption and inflammation and could be one of the critical links between metabolism and immune responses,” says senior author Professor Charles Mackay, Director of Sydney’s Garvan Institute’s Immunology Program.

Our intake of fats (fatty acids) has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. At the same time there has been an increase in inflammatory diseases in the western world ” especially asthma, atherosclerosis, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. “We have shown that a subset of white blood cells, called dendritic cells, which initiate immune responses, rely on the fatty acid binding molecule aP2 for their function. It is possible that different fatty acids or their total levels will affect aP2 function in dendritic cells, and hence affect immune responses,” explains Mackay.

Professor Mackay added: “What we want to do now is study whether it is the total levels of fats or the different types of fats that alter dendritic cell function, through their binding to aP2. We know that dietary changes can improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and we believe that a ‘diet hypothesis’ may account for the dramatic changes in inflammatory diseases seen in the western world over the past 30 years -molecules such as aP2 may be one of the clues that will help explain this phenomenon.”

Over-activation of dendritic cells can trigger inflammatory diseases. This discovery reveals aP2 is key to that process. Fatty acid binding molecules, such as aP2, have already been identified as promising targets for the treatment of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. This new research suggests that medicines directed at aP2 would have great potential in inflammatory as well as metabolic diseases.

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