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31.07.2011


The joint anti-obesity effect of genistein, resveratrol and quercetin

The modest slimming effect of vitamin D is boosted considerably if fat cells are exposed not only to vitamin D, but also to genistein. We wrote about this yesterday after reading about a test-tube study done at the University of Georgia. Today we read another interesting study, done by the same researchers, on another mix of nutrients with genistein that also kills fat cells.

We wrote about yet another study done by these Americans in 2009. That one was about the joint slimming effect of resveratrol and quercetin. Other studies have shown that both substances have mild anti-obesity effects, but in the American test-tube experiment their combined effect was even better. In fact, the mix actually killed adult fat cells. Ay ay ay.

In the study that this article refers to, the researchers looked at the effect of all three compounds together. The structural formulas are shown below. From left to right resveratrol, quercetin and genistein.


The joint anti-obesity effect of genistein, resveratrol and quercetin


The researchers put human fat cells in a test tube and mixed them with 6.25 and 12.5 micromoles genistein, 12.5 and 25 micromoles quercetin, and 12.5 and 25 micromoles resveratrol. Each of these plant-based substances had little effect individually, but in combination they caused the fat cells to store much less fat.

The combination of compounds actually killed fat cells. The middle of the three figures shows the effect of three days of exposure on cell survival.


The joint anti-obesity effect of genistein, resveratrol and quercetin


The joint anti-obesity effect of genistein, resveratrol and quercetin


The joint anti-obesity effect of genistein, resveratrol and quercetin


The bottom of the three figures shows that the mix caused fat cells to commit suicide. This figure shows the effect on cells obtained from mice, by the way.

If you compare the effect of the resveratrol-quercetin-genistein mix with that of the quercetin-resveratrol and that of the resveratrol-genistein combinations, the effect of the triple mix is considerably stronger. You may wonder what would have happened if the researchers had also added vitamin D to their cocktail.

"Our findings suggest that the enhanced activity resulting from combinations of two or more natural compounds may be useful in formulating nonpharmaceutical treatments for obesity", the researchers conclude.

So what other things could you think of adding to a 'nonpharmaceutical treatment'? We've already got resveratrol, quercetin, genistein and vitamin D. What else might work? Watch this space.

Source:
J Med Food. 2008 Dec; 11(4): 773-83.

More:
The anti-obesity effect of vitamin D and genistein combined 30.07.2011