Herbal weight loss breakthrough
Do you want to lose weight? Have you tried different methods without any success? Scientists have found that drinking the leftover water from boiling sweet potatoes, eating beans, African bush mango and regular spicing of meals with turmeric could be effectively used to achieve and maintain weight loss. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.
Sweet potato wastewater, African bush mango seed extract, beans, turmeric validated
Japanese researchers have found that proteins in the starchy sweet potato wastewater suppress appetite and contain sweet potato peptide (SPP). SPP is produced by enzyme digestion of proteins in the water during the boiling process.
The researchers in a study published in the journal Heliyon found that after 28 days, mice fed high levels of the protein were found to have lost weight, and the experts said the results could be replicated in humans.
Japanese researchers fed two groups of mice high fat diets, giving one higher levels of SPP.
After 28 days the animals were weighed and their liver mass and fatty tissue levels measured. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels were also taken, as well as leptin, which controls hunger.
Experts from the National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation, Tsukuba, also collected adiponectin measurements, which measures metabolic syndrome.
They found the mice given higher levels of SPP had significantly lower body weight. While they also discovered the animals had lower cholesterol, triglyceride, leptin and adiponectin levels.
Lead researcher, Dr. Koji Ishiguro said: “We throw out huge volumes of waste water that contains sweet potato proteins. We hypothesised that these could affect body weight, fat tissue and other factors. Finding alternative uses for the sweet potato proteins in wastewater could be good for the environment and industry, and also potentially for health.”
He concluded: “We were surprised that SPP reduced the levels of fat molecules in the mice and that it appears to be involved controlling appetite suppression molecules.
“These results are very promising, providing new options for using this wastewater instead of discarding it. We hope SPP is used for the functional food material in future.”
It is unsure how much SPP the mice were given during their 28-day period. However, it is believed the findings could ring true in humans due to mice being very biologically similar. But the researchers were keen to point out that further research is needed to determine the link.
Also, a study claims legumes like beans and peas are the best way to stave off hunger pains. Scientists fed a group of men either fiber-rich vegetarian patties or protein-heavy veal and pork patties. They found those who ate legumes at 12 percent fewer calories at their next meal.
The study published in the scientific journal Food & Nutrition is one of the first to compare how meat and legumes affect our hunger levels.
As a result, there has been scarce scientific evidence to support claims that vegetables help maintain weight loss. In the study, 43 young men were served three different meals, mainly consisting of patties. Some had patties filled with beans and peas, others with veal and pork.
When participants ate a protein-rich meal based on beans and peas, they consumed 12 percent fewer calories in their next meal than if they had eaten a meat-based meal.
The authors added that their study provides welcome evidence to support a vegetable-based diet, given that meat production is a far greater burden on our climate than vegetable cultivation.
Meanwhile earlier studies had shown that Ogbono soup help overweight persons shed some kilos, reduce abdominal fat, lower their cholesterol and chances of developing diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, and high blood pressure.
A study published in Lipids in Health and Disease found that an extract derived from the seed (Ogbono/Irvingia gabonensis) of West African mango could help overweight people shed kilogrammes, lower their cholesterol and chances of developing degenerative diseases.
Botanically called Irvingia gabonensis, West African mango or Wild mango is a fruit commonly eaten in Nigeria, and indeed the whole of West Africa. It is also called native mango, bush mango, dika nut tree, and dika bread tree.
In Nigeria, it is pekpeara in Nupe; ugiri (tree or fruit) or ogbono (kernel or seed) in Igbo; oro (the tree) or aapon (the kernel) in Yoruba; ogwi (the tree or fruit) in Benin; goron or biri in Hausa; uyo in Efik .
According to the current study, researchers at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon randomly assigned 102 overweight adults to take either the plant extract or a placebo twice a day for 10 weeks. The study participants did not follow any special diet and were told to maintain their normal exercise levels.
By the end of the study, the extract group had lost a significant amount of weight, an average of roughly 28 pounds, while the placebo group showed almost no change.
At the same time, they showed declines in “bad” Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) cholesterol and blood sugar levels. High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol.
Also, a United States (U.S.) study had found that eating turmeric-flavoured meals could be the best way to shedding excess kilos. Turmeric is a local spice commonly used for culinary. It resembles ginger with its near-yellow colour. It has been effectively used in pain, wounds, diabetes and heart disease.
Turmeric, an Asian spice cultivated in Nigeria and found in many curries, has a long history of use in reducing inflammation, healing wounds and relieving pain, preventing diabetes and heart failure, but can it induce weight loss?
According to results from animal model study by U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists and colleagues, a compound in turmeric stopped the spread of fat tissues in animal model.
The study published in the Journal of Nutrition theorised that dietary curcumin could stall the spread of fat-tissue by inhibiting new blood vessel growth, called angiogenesis, which is necessary to build fat tissue.
Curcumin is a bioactive component in curry and turmeric that has been consumed daily in Asian countries for centuries without reported toxic effects.
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, Zingaberaceae.
In Nigeria, it is called atale pupa in Yoruba; gangamau in Hausa; nwandumo in Ebonyi; ohu boboch in Enugu (Nkanu East); gigir in Tiv; magina in Kaduna; turi in Niger State; onjonigho in Cross River (Meo tribe).
The study found that supplementing the animals’ high-fat diet with curcumin reduced body-weight gain and total body fat, even though food-intake was not affected, when compared to the non-supplemented high-fat-diet group.
Meanwhile, a herbal weight loss product developed by a Nigerian firm, the International Centre for Ethnomedicine and Drug Development (InterCEDD), makers of Intercedd Health Products (IHP), with its international partners is making waves in Europe.
The product simple called Flat Belly and made of some local herbs such as Moringa, Pigeon pea and cocoa promises a flat belly within three months of use.
InterCEDD is a subsidiary of Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), which is a non-governmental non-profit organization.
The developer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BDCP, and a professor of pharmacognocy, Maurice Iwu, said pot belly is actually a symptom of general obesity and more serious disease but sometimes people see it as a very simple thing. “It is advised that people watch out for what they do and how they do it. The port belly person is always identified by a lot of fat.
“Because of this we are looking at making a product; a mixture spices and herbs that can help reduce and burn off those fats and interestingly they call it flat belly. The whole idea is that over time it will be able to help people reduce that amount of weight they are carrying. Pot belly also puts a lot of pressure on the physique of the body of an individual.”
What is the advantage of Flat Belly over the conventional ones in pursuit of the flat belly? Iwu said: “The advantage is that this went through a rigorous scientific process even though people once accused us that we have not sold it in the country. This is the reason we have not brought it in. There is very well known agent that is called African bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis, Ogbono in Ibo). One of the saddest things that are happening is the scarcity of this agent.
“The African bush mango is so scarce that globally people are faking it. And as for the Ogbono, the issue is that we have not been able to get a steady source for manufacturing process like the industrial farm and because it is not a tree that grows over night…..”
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