Benefits of flavanol supplementation in treating obesity
07/23/2020 // Evangelyn Rodriguez // Views

Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Ohio State University evaluated the preventive effects of grape seed and pine bark flavanol supplementation in the context of a high-fat diet (HFD). Their findings were published in the journal Nutrition Research.

  • Weight gain and obesity are associated with increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • According to studies, dietary flavanols can reduce the severity of metabolic aberrations caused by an HFD.
  • The degree of polymerization of flavanols also appears to play a role in determining the extent of their protective effects.
  • The researchers fed mice 35 mg/kg body weight grape seed or pine bark daily for 13 weeks as part of an HFD then compared them with mice fed a low-fat diet and mice fed an HFD without flavanol supplementation (control).
  • The group that received grape seed, which gained the most weight overall, had the lowest levels of interleukin-6.
  • Low-dose flavanol supplementation, regardless of the mean degree of polymerization, reduced cytokine production despite increasing weight gain.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that flavanols have obesity-independent effects that may be useful for ameliorating inflammation linked to obesity and diabetes. They also believe that flavanol-induced hyperphagia may help attenuate cachexia.

Journal Reference:

Griffin LE, Fausnacht DW, Tuzo JL, Addington AK, Racine KC, Zhang H, Hughes MD, England KM, Bruno RS, O'keefe SF, et al. FLAVANOL SUPPLEMENTATION PROTECTS AGAINST OBESITY-ASSOCIATED INCREASES IN SYSTEMIC INTERLEUKIN-6 LEVELS WITHOUT INHIBITING BODY MASS GAIN IN MICE FED A HIGH-FAT DIET. Nutrition Research. June 2019;66:32–47. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.03.011

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