Anthocyanins show potent anti-obesity potential: study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments from fruit and vegetables, have
a "significant potency" against fat cells and could be
used for the prevention of weight gain, suggests a new study from
Japan.

Both in vitro​ and in vivo​ experiments showed that the antioxidants influenced the function of fat cells, and thereby could play in anti-obesity and prevention against metabolic syndrome (MetS), states the paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."This study shows that anthocyanins have a significant potency of antiobesity and ameliorate adipocyte function in​ in vitro and​ in vivo systems and also that they have important implications for preventing metabolic syndrome,"​ wrote Takanori Tsuda from Chubu University (Aichi, Japan). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and CVD. Fifteen per cent of adult Europeans are estimated to be affected by MetS, while the US statistic is estimated to be a whopping 32 per cent. Obesity is established to be the main risk factor for MetS. The new study looked at the effects of the anthocyanin cyanidin 3-O-beta-D-glucoside (C3G) in both mice fed a high-fat diet, and on human fat cells incubated with the compound. Tsuda reports that mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with C3G-rich purple corn color (PCC, 0.2 per cent) for 12 weeks had significantly lower body weights than animals fed only the high-fat diet (30 per cent lard)., Furthermore, "the dietary PCC clearly suppressed the HF-diet-induced increase in the tissue weight deposits. The data indicate that the dietary PCC has a significant potency for antiobesity,"​ wrote Tsuda. The in vitro​ study used human preadipocytes (cells that can be stimulated to develop into fully-fledged fat cells, adipocytes) and incubated them with anthocyanins for 24 hours. A down-regulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), said to be associated with both obesity and type 2 diabetes, was observed after incubation, "suggesting that regulation of PAI-1 expression is one of the important therapeutic targets for the metabolic syndrome,"​ states the research. "These studies indicate anthocyanins have a unique therapeutic advantage responsible for the regulation of the adipocyte function,"​ wrote Tsuda. "These findings provide a biochemical basis for the use of anthocyanins, which can also have important implications for preventing metabolic syndrome,"​ concluded the researcher. The retail market for weight management products was estimated by Euromonitor International to be worth US$0.93bn (€0.73) in Europe in 2005 and $3.93bn in the US, indicating that call to slim down or face the health consequences is being heeded by a slice of the overweight population at least. Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​ Voume 56, Number 3, Pages 642-646, doi: 10.1021/jf073113b "Regulation of Adipocyte Function by Anthocyanins; Possibility of Preventing the Metabolic Syndrome" ​Author: Takanori Tsuda

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