SEP 24, 2016 9:58 AM PDT

New Dietary Supplement Reduces Obesity-Related Inflammation

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
A nutritious diet and regular exercise habits is a tried and true recipe for successful weight loss, but many overweight and obese individuals experience chronic inflammation and oxidative stress that prevent them from getting active. Plus, many overweight individuals may not realize the extent to which inflammation and oxidative stress within their body affects how they feel. 
A new study from the Appalachian State University Human Performance lab, locating on the NC Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, North Carolina, provides evidence for the efficacy of a new nutritional supplement in reducing inflammation in overweight and obese individuals. The supplement doesn’t help individual lose weight per se, but it does relieve many of the stresses that might be preventing a morning jog from chronic inflammation. 

David Nieman, DrPH, Director of the Human Performance Lab, explained that they “know that weight loss through a healthy diet and exercise is the best strategy for reducing inflammation and improving immune function.” The supplement, called “Q-FORCE,” contains a mixture of flavonoids and fish oils. “For people who are struggling with weight loss,” Nieman continued, “this supplement could be added to the lifestyle changes to provide a first-step approach to improving inflammation and viral defense.”

“For people who are struggling with weight loss, this supplement could be added to the lifestyle changes to provide a first-step approach to improving inflammation and viral defense.”

Fruits and vegetables are rich with flavonoids, a family of nutrients that are linked to antioxidant activity, reduced risk of heart disease, and anticancer properties. Plus, flavonoids can also be found in beverages like tea and wine. With heart disease being the leading cause of death for both males and females in the United States, causing nearly one-fourth of all deaths in 2008, Nieman’s research is highly relevant with its potential to reduce the prevalence of adverse cardiovascular events as people find more success with weight loss. 

Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids like ALA, EPA, and DHA, and multiple scientific studies have led to the description of these oils as “essential” fats. Foods like fish, vegetable oil, nuts, flax seed, and leafy vegetables are rich with omega-3 fatty acids.

In a study of 48 overweight and obese females between the age of 40 and 70 years, Nieman and his team from the NCRC tested the flavonoid-fish oil supplement alongside a placebo group. In the past, Nieman found success with the supplement in athletes, showing a reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress when given the supplement after three days of intense exercise.

Results from the study showed an elevation of plasma quercetin, a type of flavonoid, as well as EPA, DHA, and DPA. Additionally, using advanced genetic expression technology to produce data, Nieman’s findings also showed an upregulation of certain gene pathways known to be associated with antiviral mechanisms and a reduction in inflammation.

Some commercial supplements available today claim that they will help people lose weight, sometimes even without exercise or a dietary change. Whether or not these claims are true, Nieman and his team provide a different solution for overweight and obese individuals to lose weight and become healthier: a nutritional supplement to reduce inflammation so people can more easily change their lifestyle habits to making healthier choices. 

Read more on the study published in the journal Nutrients.

Sources: NC Research Campus, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, American College of Cardiology 
About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog:
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