Sunday January 19, 2020

Keep Obesity At Bay With Flaxseeds

The team also found evidence that the bacteria present ferment fibres from the thick, glue-like layer of the flaxseed shell. 

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

Besides improving your heart health, consuming flaxseeds can also cause changes in the gut microbiota, boost metabolic health as well as protect against diet-induced obesity, finds a study.

Flaxseed is a fibre-rich plant that has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and inflammation in the colon. However, there is little research on how flaxseed fibre affects gut microbiota.

In the study, conducted on mice, those that received flaxseed supplements were more physically active and had less weight gain than those on other high-fat diet groups.

They also had better glucose control and levels of beneficial fatty acids.

BMI, Asthma Risk
High BMI in early life is linked to asthma risk later: Study. Pixabay

The breakdown of dietary fibre in the gut — a process called fermentation — can produce favourable changes in the digestive system.

It can increase beneficial fatty acids, which may reduce the production of adipose tissue in the body and improve immune function, explained the researchers, in the study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism.

“Our data suggest that flaxseed fibre supplementation affects host metabolism by increasing energy expenditure and reducing obesity as well as by improving glucose tolerance,” said Fredrik Backhed from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

For the study, the team studied mice assigned to four different diets for 12 weeks.

7 healthy indian foods
flaxseeds representational image (istock)

The high-fat group had fewer bacteria associated with improved metabolic health, lower levels of beneficial fatty acids and more of a bacterium linked to obesity when compared to the other groups.

Bacteria levels in both the cellulose and flaxseed groups returned to healthier levels when compared to the high-fat group.

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The team also found evidence that the bacteria present ferment fibres from the thick, glue-like layer of the flaxseed shell.

The bacteria that perform fermentation then produce more beneficial fatty acids.

“Future research should be directed to understand relative contribution of the different microbes and delineate underlying mechanisms for how flaxseed fibres affect host metabolism,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Find a New Mechanism to Prevent Obesity

New mechanism may safely prevent, reverse obesity

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Obesity
Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers. Pixabay

Obesity, a global epidemic, is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic and in major breakthrough, researchers have discovered that a receptor found in almost all cells, called AHR, and known primarily to combat exposures to environmental chemicals, also plays a big role in the body’s metabolism.

Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers and study, published in the journal International Journal of Obesity have found a critical target in this cause.

“We carried out experiments showing that when a drug named NF and known to block the AHR, was added to a high-fat diet, mice did not become any fatter than mice on a low-fat control diet,” said study researcher Craig Tomlinson from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Centre in the US.

“Mice on the high-fat diet with no NF became very obese within the same time span. No ill effects were observed from the drug,” Tomlinson added. According to the study, the research team then asked whether blocking the AHR with NF could not only prevent obesity but reverse it.

Obesity
Obesity is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic. Pixabay

“In these experiments, we allowed the mice to become obese on a high-fat diet, and then half the mice were switched to the high-fat diet containing the AHR blocker NF,” Tomlinson said.

Over the next few weeks, the mice switched to the high-fat diet containing NF dropped to the same body weight as those mice on the low-fat diet.

The remaining mice on the high-fat diet became obese. No ill effects were observed, the researchers said. The research team investigated the mechanisms behind how the AHR, when blocked by NF, prevented and reversed obesity.

Using previous knowledge that the AHR regulates key genes in fat metabolism, the team discovered that in liver cells and in fat cells, the AHR, when blocked by NF, fails to induce several key genes required for fat storage and synthesis.

They concluded that the prevention and reversal of obesity from blocking the activity of the AHR is due to key genes regulated by the AHR that are involved in fat metabolism.

“Few to no studies have shown that obesity can be reversed by a drug treatment; it is even rarer to know the underlying cellular mechanism,” Tomlinson noted.

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The research team has begun investigating several key questions, including those around the dietary compounds in the food we eat that activate the AHR to cause weight gain , and the role that gut bacterial play regarding the AHR. Most importantly, they have initiated a clinical trial to determine whether the AHR may serve as a therapeutic target to reduce obesity in humans. (IANS)