`Researchers Investigate Role of Certain Polyphenols in Obesity Management - Olive Oil Times

Researchers Investigate Role of Certain Polyphenols in Obesity Management

By Daniel Dawson
Dec. 8, 2022 14:26 UTC

Consuming polyphe­nols has been linked with a sta­tis­ti­cally, but not clin­i­cally, sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in three of the four main obe­sity-related anthro­po­met­ric mea­sures in adults, new research pub­lished in Food Chemistry indi­cates.

The meta-analy­sis of 44 stud­ies and 40 aca­d­e­mic arti­cles from Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia found that polyphe­nol con­sump­tion decreased body weight, body mass index and waist cir­cum­fer­ence in adults. However, researchers found no sig­nif­i­cant effect on low­er­ing body fat per­cent­age.

The main results of this meta-analy­sis demon­strated that intake of polyphe­nols sig­nif­i­cantly reduced body weight by 0.36 kilo­grams, body mass index by 0.13 kilo­gram-meters-squared and waist cir­cum­fer­ence by 0.6 cen­time­ters com­pared to placebo treat­ments,” the researchers wrote.

See Also:Following MedDiet Fortified With Polyphenols Reduces Visceral Adiposity

They said a pos­si­ble expla­na­tion for these find­ings might be the appetite-sup­press­ing hor­mones in some polyphe­nols.

The researchers added that improved lipid and car­bo­hy­drate diges­tion, stim­u­la­tion of energy expen­di­ture, reduced oxida­tive stress and improved gut micro­biota due to polyphe­nol con­sump­tion may also have con­tributed.

According to the World Health Organization, obe­sity has tripled glob­ally since 1975. As of 2016, the last year the WHO has avail­able data, more than 650 mil­lion adults were obese.

Being over­weight and obese have over­whelm­ingly been linked with many chronic dis­eases, includ­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, the lead­ing cause of death world­wide.

The researchers con­cluded that con­sum­ing polyphe­nols should be con­sid­ered as part of a dietary and lifestyle inter­ven­tion to pre­vent and treat obe­sity.

Yi Zhang, the lead author of the analy­sis and a dieti­cian, ini­tially started the research due to a lack of safe and effec­tive treat­ments and inter­ven­tions for obe­sity and the scarcity of human clin­i­cal tri­als test­ing the impacts of polyphe­nols on obe­sity.

She told Olive Oil Times that the study mainly focussed on a group of polyphe­nols known as flavonoids and sev­eral non-flavonoids, includ­ing stil­benes, tan­nins and cur­cum­i­noids.

Most research about polyphe­nols focuses on flavonoids and non-flavonoids,” Zhang said. Drinking tea is the most pop­u­lar way to con­sume polyphe­nols, along with eat­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles.”

The analy­sis found that flavonoids – specif­i­cally, antho­cyani­dins (found in berries, cher­ries, dark leafy greens, egg­plant, cab­bage, pur­ple pota­toes and red onions), fla­vanols (found in types of tea, red wine and cocoa), flavonols (found in yel­low and red onion, kale, spinach, broc­coli and leeks) and isoflavones (found in legumes) – were the most effec­tive in decreas­ing obe­sity-related mea­sures.

The researchers hypoth­e­sized that this might be par­tially due to their impact on gut micro­biota in the gas­troin­testi­nal tract and anti-inflam­ma­tory prop­er­ties.

Zhang said the research focussed on stud­ies where the polyphe­nols had been iso­lated and con­sumed in either cap­sule or tea form to inves­ti­gate how the indi­vid­ual polyphe­nols impacted obe­sity with­out the con­found­ing vari­ables of how they relate to other micro- and macronu­tri­ents.

As a result, she did not inves­ti­gate any phe­no­lic com­pounds in extra vir­gin olive oil, the most promi­nent of which are tyrosols, sim­ple phe­nols.

My meta-analy­sis is about the pure polyphe­nols or pure extracts of sin­gle polyphe­nols, not the inclu­sion of the whole food,” Zhang said. Most olive oil stud­ies include all its polyphe­nols.”

However, she added, more research on the impacts of polyphe­nols on obe­sity should be done, specif­i­cally focussing on their role in obe­sity pre­ven­tion in non-obese men and women and weight loss in obese men and women.

Zhang added that the impact of the indi­vid­ual polyphe­nols in olive oil should be fur­ther inves­ti­gated, espe­cially because of the known links between olive oil con­sump­tion and improved gut micro­bial pro­files.

There are many ways to decrease weight, espe­cially through stim­u­lat­ing energy expen­di­ture in the form of the gut micro­biota… and reduc­ing inflam­ma­tion,” Zhang said. This is the most inter­est­ing way olive oil polyphe­nols could impact obe­sity research.”


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