obese people large fat 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
In the future, you could be able to have your sweet, fattening cake and eat it, too, all without risking your health.
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Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University in Boston have developed a nano-complex dietary supplement that can be taken before meals to substantially reduce the amount of fat and sugar your body absorbs.
This is the first demonstration that a dietary supplement can change the way the body reacts beneficially to a meal. The discovery is detailed in an article that has just been published in the US scientific journal, PLoS One.
The researchers worked previously on naringenin, the molecule
responsible for the bitter taste in grapefruit, which is poorly absorbed
by the body when in its natural form. As they thought it could
potentially be used in the treatment of diabetes, arteriosclerosis and
hyper-metabolism, they thought of adapting it as a nano-complex and
succeeded by multiplying the absorption capacity of naringenin 11 times.
The joint university team, headed by Dr. Yaakov Nahmias of the HU’s
Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science, and his graduate
student Maria Shulman, have now created the nano-complex within a ring
of sugar that is called cyclodextrin, which makes the molecule much more
effective. Fortunately, when the molecule is turned into cyclodextrin,
it becomes sweet; thus, naringenin is no longer a bitter pill to
By testing the product on rats, they found that a single dose of this
complex, taken just before a high-fat and high-sugar meal, was able to
reduce the generation of VLDL (bad cholesterol) by 42 percent, which is
good for people at risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also
increase insulin sensitivity by 64%, which is good for diabetics.
“The complex is special in that it is taken just before a meal as a
preventative measure,” said Nahmias. “In comparison, existing
medications are given only after chronic development of abnormal lipid
levels in the blood.”
Patents for the development have been applied for by Harvard and Yissum, HU’s technology transfer company.
Clinical tests are now under way in the US.