SEP 12, 2018 07:09 AM PDT

Can This Exotic Fruit Prevent Obesity?

Not a week goes by that there isn’t a new superfood or some exotic fruit or spice that can curb your appetite, burn fat while you sleep, and boost energy. Green coffee bean extract, black cohosh, and so many other substances promise quick weight loss and extra energy.

Most of them are not legit, and there is little to no science behind them. That doesn’t mean that there are no herbs or plants to help with diet, however. New research on the Amazonian (from the rainforest region, not the online retailer), fruit camu camu, could change that. While it’s not entirely proven that it’s an easy way to drop those extra pounds, there is some promising research on it. A study by scientists at Université Laval and the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre suggests that the extract from camu camu prevents obesity in mice, even if they were fed a diet of high fat, high sugar chow.

What’s unique about camu camu other than a really cool Flintstone-like name? The fruit contains 20 to 30 times more vitamin C than kiwi fruit and 5 times more polyphenols than blackberries. Previous research into polyphenols has shown health benefits of berries rich in the compound, so investigators wanted to look at other fruits that contain it to see if there might be a benefit.

The researchers had two groups of lab mice for the study. Both groups got a diet of rat chow that was full of sugar and fat. One group also got camu camu extract along with their food every day. After a full eight weeks on this regimen, the team observed that the mice who had the camu camu added to their diet had 50% less weight gain than the mice who did not. Even more significant was that the third group of mice, who were fed a diet low in sugar and fat showed the same weight changes as the camu camu mice, even though their diets were vastly different. Essentially, mice who had camu camu added to their high fat, high sugar unhealthy diet had the same outcome as those on a low fat, low sugar diet. The researchers opine that the difference was due to an increase in resting metabolic rate in the mice who got the extract.

The weight issue was not the only benefit seen in the study. Mice who had camu camu with their chow also showed better glucose tolerance, less insulin sensitivity. Blood tests on the mice revealed reduced concentrations of “blood endotoxins” and markers for metabolic inflammation. André Marette is a professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and the principal investigator for the study. He explained, "All these changes were accompanied by a reshaping of the intestinal microbiota, including a blooming of A. muciniphila and a significant reduction in Lactobacillus bacteria. Camu camu thus exerts its positive metabolic effects at least in part through the modulation of the gut microbiota." Check out the video below to see if this fancy fruit extract could be something you want to add to your diet.

Sources: BMJ Gut New Atlas Université Laval via Science Daily

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
AUG 27, 2018
AUG 27, 2018
Undiscovered Tunnels from Bone Marrow To Brain
Newly discovered tunnels connect bone marrow of the skull directly to lining of the brain to allow for quick access of immune cells to brain damaged tissues....
AUG 29, 2018
Health & Medicine
AUG 29, 2018
Wearing Contacts While Sleeping Can Lead to Severe Eye Infections
Contact lenses can be a boon to patients who need eyesight correction. Fumbling with glasses, changing to sunglasses when outside, and trying to exercise o...
AUG 30, 2018
AUG 30, 2018
This Is Not Ordinary Rehab
When Amy Winehouse sang "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no" she was referring to substance abuse treatment. Rehab could mean a...
SEP 05, 2018
SEP 05, 2018
Stroke Doubles Risk of Dementia
History or recent stroke can double the risk of dementia....
SEP 09, 2018
SEP 09, 2018
Black Hairy Tongue - A Shocking Antibiotic Side Effect
A 55-year-old woman experienced a rare side effect of antibiotics while being treated for an infection....
SEP 13, 2018
SEP 13, 2018
Emergency Declared: Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe
The waterborne bacterium Vibrio cholerae has been spreading cholera in contaminated water since the 1800's....
Loading Comments...