It sounds almost too good to be true, but Dr. Raylene Reimer, a researcher at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Kinesiology, believes she may have found an important weapon in the war against obesity.
Reimer and her colleagues are launching the first human trials anywhere to assess a promising natural fibre, which has already been shown to be effective in tests involving genetically obese rats.
"It may not be the magic bullet," Reimer says, "but in all likelihood this will likely be one factor that people can change in their life to help achieve a healthy body weight. It won't cure obesity or cause people to drop half their body weight -- not even our strongest obesity drugs can do that -- but we believe it could help."
The fibre is called oligo fructose. "It's not a chemical or a drug. In fact it's a food product that is already being used in things like yogurt, cereal and baby food. We have found in a previous study with rats that the fibre increases the levels of a satiety hormone called glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) in the body and increases a gene in the intestines that helps the body to create more GLP-1."
In a study with genetically obese rats, Reimer and U of C PhD Student Jill Parnell found that consuming the natural fibre helped the rats to significantly reduce their food intake and improved their blood lipid profile.
The new study will involve human subjects for the first time. The researchers are looking for 50 overweight, but otherwise healthy individuals living in Calgary, Canada. The subjects would be required to take a dietary supplement over a three-month period while making no other lifestyle changes. Participants' body composition will be tracked using cutting-edge technology to determine their body fat ratios.
"What we have found so far in our animal studies has been very encouraging," says Reimer. "Another short study done by some Belgian researchers also indicates that the fibre will work for people, but we really won't know until we complete this detailed, long-term study."
Gregory Harris | EurekAlert!
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy