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Study: Soluble Fiber Can Zap Unhealthy Belly Fat

July 1, 2011 by  

Study: Soluble Fiber Can Zap Unhealthy Belly Fat

Stubborn belly fat got you down? Try eating more soluble fiber.

Visceral fat, which lurks deep in the abdomen, is far more dangerous than the subcutaneous fat found just beneath the skin’s surface. However, because of its location, visceral fat can also be difficult to get rid of.

A new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that the best way to banish this stubborn, unhealthy belly fat is to eat more soluble fiber from vegetables, fruit and beans, and engage in moderate activity.

The study found that increasing the amount of soluble fiber eaten by 10 grams per day reduced visceral fat by more than 3 percent over five years. Also, increased moderate activity resulted in a more than 7 percent decrease in the accumulation of visceral fat over the same time period.

Kristen Hairston, M.D., who was the lead researcher on the study, said 10 grams of soluble fiber can be achieved by eating two small apples, 1 cup of green peas and 1/2 cup of pinto beans. Moderate activity refers to exercising vigorously for 30 minutes, two to four times a week.

“We know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease,” Hairston said. “Our study found that making a few simple changes can have a big health impact.”

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  • TIME

    Great blog..

    Just for the record I am now 61, at 6′ 1″ tall at 175 Lbs, with a 33″ waist, I do all of the above but a tad more so.
    I walk 3 miles 3 days a week, 5 miles 3 days a week.
    I do 100 crunches 4 times per week no matter where I am at, I do 100 pushups 4 times per week, as well as 20 Pull ups arms out, and 20 chin ups arms in 4 times per week.

    I eat an one BIG PHAT apple every day, as well as I don’t eat fried foods, I don’t eat baked foods, {mostly steamed or saute’ or grilled.}
    I don’t eat anything but fresh food’s, its not easy on the road but if you get in the habbit of it its not as hard as you may think.

    • white tiger

      You are Jack LaLanne reincarnated! Keep it up!

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Plato

    TIME: try more brain food (fish); maybe then you’ll learn not to put apostrophes into plurals…like (duh!)”food’s;” make comma splices like “…s, its;” and the right way to use an apostrophe (it’s not)! Where’d you go to school: Hamtramck Cebula High? Sincerely,

    Detroit Public Schools (back when we could READ our diplomas) alumnus

    • http://Yahoo Bob from SoCal

      Don’t eat more than a couple servings of seafood each week. And if you eat fish just eat the fillets. The organs contain toxins and heavy metals. This recommendation comes from studies by the California Department of Fish and Game. And I believe that this applies mainly to marine , not fresh water species.

      • ValDM

        That applies to seafood only. You know, seafood : crab, shrimp, clams, squid, etc. It also applies to certain long-lived ocean fish like swordfish, marlin, etc. It does not apply to fish like Pacific salmon. Atlantic salmon, it would apply to, since Atlantic salmon don’t die after they spawn, but continue to live a very long life.

    • Cablman

      What an arrogant prick…….. yes, you Plato.

    • The Other White Meat

      Thakns fur thet pertanint raply, plado; now go hump yure teanage male valet.

  • coal miner

    Science News
    It’s Not an Apple a Day After All — It’s Strawberries: Flavonoids Could Represent Two-Fisted Assault On Diabetes and Nervous System Disorders
    ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011) — A recent study from scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggests that a strawberry a day (or more accurately, 37 of them) could keep not just one doctor away, but an entire fleet of them, including the neurologist, the endocrinologist, and maybe even the oncologist.
    Computational neuroscience
    Investigations conducted in the Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) will appear in the June 27, 2011, issue of PLoS ONE. The report explains that fisetin, a naturally-occurring flavonoid found most abundantly in strawberries and to a lesser extent in other fruits and vegetables, lessens complications of diabetes. Previously, the lab showed that fisetin promoted survival of neurons grown in culture and enhanced memory in healthy mice. That fisetin can target multiple organs strongly suggests that a single drug could be used to mitigate numerous medical complications.

    “This manuscript describes for the first time a drug that prevents both kidney and brain complications in a type 1 diabetes mouse model,” says David Schubert, Ph.D., professor and head of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory and one of the manuscript’s co-authors. “Moreover, it demonstrates the probable molecular basis of how the therapeutic is working.”

    Pam Maher, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist in the CNL, is the study’s corresponding author. Maher initially identified fisetin as a neuroprotective flavonoid ten years ago. “In plants, flavonoids act as sunscreens and protect leaves and fruit from insects,” she explains. “As foods they are implicated in the protective effect of the ‘Mediterranean Diet.’”

    Other celebrity flavonoids include polyphenolic compounds in blueberries and red wine.

    Although her group’s focus is neurobiology, Maher and colleagues reasoned that, like other flavonoids, fisetin might ameliorate a spectrum of disorders seen in diabetic patients. To test this, they evaluated effects of fisetin supplementation in Akita mice, a very robust model of type 1 diabetes, also called childhood onset diabetes.

    Akita mice exhibit increased blood sugar typical of type 1 diabetes and display pathologies seen in serious human complications of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Those include diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease, retinopathy, and neuropathies in which patients lose touch or heat sensations.

    Mice fed a fisetin-enriched diet remained diabetic, but acute kidney enlargement-or hypertrophy-seen in untreated mice was reversed, and high urine protein levels, a sure sign of kidney disease, fell. Moreover, fisetin ingestion ameliorated anxiety-related behaviors seen in diabetic mice. “Most mice put in a large area become exploratory,” says Maher. “But anxious mice tend not to move around. Akita mice showed enhanced anxiety behavior, but fisetin feeding restored their locomotion to more normal levels.”

    The study also defines a likely molecular mechanism underlying these effects. Researchers observed that blood and brain levels of sugars affixed to proteins known as advanced glycation end-products-or AGEs-were reduced in fisetin-treated compared to untreated Akita mice. These decreases were accompanied by increased activity of the enzyme glyoxalase 1, which promotes removal of toxic AGE precursors.

    The discovery of an AGE-antagonizing enzyme upregulated by fisetin is very intriguing, because substantial evidence implicates high blood AGE levels with many if not most diabetic complications. “We know that fisetin increases activity of the glyoxalase enzyme and may increase its expression,” says Maher. “But what is important is that ours is the first report that any compound can enhance glyoxalase 1 activity.”

    Interestingly, excessively high AGE levels also correlate with inflammatory activity thought to promote some cancers. In fact, studies published by others confirm that fisetin decreases tumorigenicity of prostate cancer cells both in culture and in animal models, which if supported would represent a major added incentive to eat your strawberries.

    To ingest fisetin levels equivalent to those fed Akita mice, Maher estimates that humans would have to eat 37 strawberries a day, assuming that strawberry fisetin is as readily metabolizable by humans as fisetin-spiked lab chow is by mice. Rather than through diet, Maher envisions that fisetin-like drugs could be taken as a supplement.

    Schubert notes that fisetin is also effective in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. “We and others have shown that diabetes may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, making identification of a safe prophylactic like fisetin highly significant,” he says.

    Maher acknowledges that the public may be suffering from flavonoid-fatigue, given media coverage of the promises of these compounds. “Polyphenolics like fisetin and those in blueberry extracts are found in fruits and vegetables and are related to each other chemically,” she says. “There is increasing evidence that they all work in multiple diseases. Hopefully some combination of these compounds will eventually get to the clinic.”

    Schubert concurs that their findings only reinforce what common sense and our mothers told us was a healthy lifestyle. “Eat a balanced diet and as much freshly prepared organic food as possible, get some exercise, keep socially and mentally active and avoid sodas with sugar and highly processed foods since they can contain high levels of AGEs,” he advises.

    But he also worries that hoops that must be jumped through to bring a natural product like fisetin, as opposed to a totally synthetic drug, to clinical trials are daunting because it is difficult to protect patents on natural products. “We will never know if a compound like fisetin works in humans until someone is willing to support a clinical trial.”

    Also contributing to this study were Richard Dargusch and Jennifer L. Ehren, Ph.D.,of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, and Kumar Sharma, M.D., and Shinichi Okada, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Diego.

    Funding for the study came from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Hewitt Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

    • s c

      Cm, that’s way too much info for this website. Also, look up plagiarism. Short bursts of info, when directed at a receptive audience does a better job than info overload.
      Last, if something works, keep it and use it. When something DOESN’T work, GET RID OF IT. That point is wasted on elected types and 99.99999% of this frickin,’ useful idiot administration.
      Plato, I don’t think you’re a prick, but you could be seen as an unintentional wiener.

  • OMG

    TIME, PLATO is absolutely correct! Follow his advice an you will not have a FAT Belly . . . However you may find yourself with an overgrown cranium due to the excess slime of his “jerky” thoughts ! (LOL, … LOL< … LOL !!!)

  • jopa

    I believe Plato is just as wise to Time as some others.Whatever the issue he is the master.Time in the past claims whatever country he works in he learned the language, he knows all about discrimination because he is a chameleon.He has described himself as black as can be and at other times people did not even realize he was black due to the light skin tone he possessed.When he came up with himself being the fitness guru, that may be true and it may not, however I have learned after awhile to dismiss what his comments are because they seem a little far fetched after awhile.

  • Dr. James Allen Hampton



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