A research team from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and the Faculty of Kinesiology found that rats on a high fat, high sugar diet had a much lower weight gain than the ones who did not eat the fiber.
“Our data shows that a simple dietary intervention, with a prebiotic oligofructose fiber, reduced weight gain, and this may also lead to the long-term maintenance of a lower body weight in the face of continued dietary challenge,” says Keith Sharkey, PhD, senior author of the study and deputy director of the Cumming School of Medicine’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI).”
Nina Cluny, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the HBI and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology stated that weight-loss and maintenance showed similar results regardless of the rats predisposition to obesity.
Oligofructose is a dietary fiber founded in vegetables like onions and bananas. A prebiotic fiber supplies food for the bacteria that lives in our intestines.
“Trillions of bacteria live in the human gut, collectively forming what is known as our microbiota. They help with everything from digesting food to warding off harmful micro-organisms. Oligofructose is suspected to decrease weight gain by affecting the composition of microbiota and some of the gut hormones that control food intake.”
In a 2009 human study raylene Reimer, Ph.D., R.D. and a professor in the faculty of kinesiology found that adults receiving doses of oligofructose lost an average of 2.2 pounds over a 12-week period. Most importantly, a gain continued to gain weight like the group who took the placebo (i. e. sugar pill).
“Oligofructose shouldn’t be seen as a potential alternative to exercise and diet, which have many other health benefits besides lowering weight, says Sharkey. He, Cluny and Reimer instead view the fiber as one of many possible tools in the fight against the growing problem of obesity.”
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