Arginine could help fight diet-caused human obesity

February 12th, 2009 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 12 (IANS) Researchers have discovered that arginine, an amino acid, reduces fat mass in diet-induced obese rats and could help fight human obesity.
“Given the current epidemic of obesity in the US and worldwide, our finding is very important,” said Guoyao Wu, animal nutritionist and senior faculty fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University.

The research found dietary arginine supplementation shifts nutrient partitioning to promote skeletal-muscle gain, according to the researchers.

In lab experiments, rats were fed both low-and high-fat diets. They found that arginine supplementation for a 12-week period decreased the body fat gains of low-fat and high-fat fed rats by 65 percent and 63 percent, respectively. The long-term arginine treatment did not have any adverse effects on either group.

“This finding could be directly translated into fighting human obesity,” Wu said. “At this time, arginine has not been incorporated into our food (but could in the future).”

Arginine-rich foods include seafood, watermelon juice, nuts, seeds, algae, meats, rice protein concentrate and soy protein isolate, he said.

Another important observation according to the research was that dietary arginine reduced serum concentrations of branched-chain amino acids.

The research, funded by the American Heart Association, will be presented in August at the 11th International Symposium on Amino Acids in Vienna, Austria, said a Texas release.

The findings were published recently in the Journal of Nutrition.

-Indo-Asian News Service


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