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21.04.2017


Boost your flavonoid intake and lower your fat percentage

If you want to do something to reduce those extra rolls of fat, the first thing you'll do is make sure you're consuming fewer calories and burning more of them by getting exercise. That's logical. But British nutritionists at the University of East Anglia published a third strategy in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a strategy that may be just as effective. According to the Brits, you can also reduce your fat percentage by increasing the amount of flavonoids you consume in your diet.

Study
Boost your flavonoid intake and lower your fat percentage
The researchers studied a group of 2734 British female twins. They used scans to measure the amount of body fat the women had and used questionnaires to determine their diet. They looked not only at the participants' intake of good and bad fats, fibre-rich and fast absorbed carbohydrates, and proteins and kilocalories, but also at the amount of different sorts of flavonoids that the women consumed.


Boost your flavonoid intake and lower your fat percentage



Results
The figure compares the body composition of the women with the lowest flavonoid intake with the body composition of the women with the highest intake. To be more precise: the researchers worked with quintiles. The more flavonoids the women consumed, the lower their fat percentage.


Boost your flavonoid intake and lower your fat percentage



In particular, flavones - present in peppers and oranges - and anthocyanins - found in berries such as acai and aronia, but also in grapes and Pycnogenol - seem to have a fat-inhibiting effect.

In another analysis the researchers measured the effects of flavonoids on the fat mass ratio by comparing twins with each other. The figure below shows that foods containing large amounts of anthocyanins - so berries and grapes - had a fat-inhibiting effect.


Boost your flavonoid intake and lower your fat percentage



The fat-inhibiting effects of flavonoids remained intact when the researchers corrected for all the food-related factors they could think of. So it's not the case that the women who ate large amounts of flavonoids also got more exercise, or ate more vegetables or fewer calories.

Conclusion
"Our data suggest a protective role for a number of flavonoid subclasses, including anthocyanins [...], on the distribution of fat mass independent of shared genetic and common environmental factors," the researchers concluded. They are somewhat surprised at the strength of the effects they found.

"We show greater associations between the fat mass ratio and flavonoid subclass intake than for physical activity and intakes of energy and sugar-sweetened beverages, which are well-known contributors to fat mass," they wrote.

"We also show that these associations are both independent, and the effect sizes with the fat mass ratio are markedly greater than for total fruit and vegetable intake and fiber intake."

"Furthermore, these associations are shown with dietary achievable intakes of flavonoids, thereby making them relevant for public health recommendations to reduce body fat. Our results suggest that dietary flavonoids may contribute to a healthier fat mass profile and, thus, merit further investigation in randomized controlled trials."

Source:
Am J Clin Nutr March 2017 vol. 105 no. 3 626-34.

More:
Aronia berries reduce belly fat 20.05.2016
Flavonoids in food extend your life expectancy 15.08.2015
Cacao flavonoid (-)-epicatechin inhibits myostatin and strengthens muscles 05.02.2014

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