Health & Wellbeing

New compounds block absorption of fat in foods

New compounds block absorption...
Micelle sequestrant polymers cause fat particles to pass right through the digestive system
Micelle sequestrant polymers cause fat particles to pass right through the digestive system
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Micelle sequestrant polymers cause fat particles to pass right through the digestive system
Micelle sequestrant polymers cause fat particles to pass right through the digestive system

For people with a serious obesity problem, dieting and exercising may not be enough on their own. Taking a pill that replicates the effects of exercise may be one solution, but scientists from the University of Kansas are developing what could be another – compounds that keep the fat in foods from being absorbed by the body.

Known as micelle sequestrant polymers (MSPs), the compounds capture fat particles called micelles while they’re still in the intestines. Subsequently, instead of being digested, those micelles are passed with the feces.

In lab tests, mice that had ingested MSPs had nine to 10 times the amount of triglycerides in their stools than control animals (triglycerides are the main dietary fat). As there was no evidence of the MSPs themselves being absorbed by the body, the scientists are hopeful that they may be safe for long-term use.

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Biomacromolecules.

Source: American Chemical Society

Previous efforts at a fat blocking drug resulted in unfortunate "leaking" accidents where the undigested fat would pass directly and rapidly through. Would this suffer the same problem? The other problem with these sorts of interventions is they teach nothing about how a person should live their life in the long term to maintain a healthy weight. In general fat consumption isn't the cause of obesity and cutting the digestion of fat may result in cutting the satiation ability of fat. I can't see many situations (or any) where this sort of drug intervention would actually help people lose weight and keep it off. Rather it looks like a way for a drug company to sell more drugs. Surgical intervention results in a reduction of food intake which becomes habitual meaning it is possible the person could eat a reduced amount long term. Lifestyle intervention likewise can lead to long term changes but this?
How exactly does this help, although the consumption of calories in excess of expenditure is a causative for obesity, it is not the consumption of fats that are the issue. The issue is the excessive number of calories in western diets that come from simple carbohydrates (wheat, Corn, Starch, Sugar etc). These are too readily absorbed and sequestered by the human body, to the exclusion of other sources where they are taken in excess. If you restrict your intake of these food items to a minimum, and increase your intake of fats to compensate, provided you do not already suffer from health issues that preclude this. You will find, provided even moderate exercise, that you will end up loosing weight, not feel so fatigued or so quickly hungry again. Because the breakdown of fats is a metabolic path that requires greater efforts and the natural hunger satisfaction sense is more quickly triggered by fats than by carbs. We have to stop demonising fats and start looking at the real issue of our corn fed lifestyle.
What if "fat" is not the enemy? Gary Taubes has written extensively about this. This article just follows in the footsteps Of "fat makes you fat" which is not proven to be true
OMFG, are you kidding me? Conventional wisdom would say 'you are what you eat', i.e. fat makes you fat. Nothing could be more wrong
Dave Lawrence
Sugar causes obesity, not fat. End this bullshit and tell the truth
The above posters have shown that they are paying attention... Just like the warnings against eating too much cholesterol (carbs are the fuel the body uses to make cholesterol- dietary cholesterol means almost nothing!), dietary fat is really only bad in conjunction with carb intake. We've been sold a bill of goods on crap like the "food pyramid"- the more people try to follow the "government guidelines", the more obese they get.
Kevin Ritchey
Olestra was bad enough. I need a metabolic enhancement additive that boosts the body's efficiency without tweaking out. THAT would be special and prophetic. Something that would run in the background while spending the day doing things other than eating.
Matthew Dickson
Blaming carbohydrates is just as silly as blaming fats. If you burn 2000 calories per day you can lose the same amount of weight by eating 1900 calories of pure fat or 1900 calories of pure sugar. If you want to talk "healthy" that's a different discussion, but this assignment of "bad" and "good" molecules is getting old.
Different foods are processed differently in the gut. So a calorie as measured in a laboratory is not a calorie in terms of how the food is digested and processed by the body. Some foods take more energy to digest than they provide in energy to the body as with raw plants that have a lot of cellulose, as we lack the ungulates multiple stomachs and the ability (or inclination) to regurgitate partially digested food and masticate it more. Frustose sugars are processed differently than natural sugar in milk and yet the calories may be comparable the net effect is quite different. Go outside the USA where high fructose sugars are not used and the profile of the population with regard to obesity is quite different. The fast food diet that is putting the pounds on American adults and children is not high in fat but it is high in carbohydrates and extremely high in processed sugar. A single 12 oz. soft drink has 50% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar. No science is needed to know that the problem is the sugar intake and obesity is a minor health problem as compared to diabetes and heart disease that are by products of the high doses of sugar being consumed on a daily basis in this country.
I see this is a very old topic but that's what happens when you peruse the Internet. Anyway, olestra--some horrible memories of that terrible compound. Anyway--how proteins carbs and fats are broken down and used as fuel for the body depends on too many variables to put down in a few sentences. However, two things that remain the same and never change are the amount of energy aka the amount of k/calories they account for. And...more calories taken in vs. calories utilized = weight gain. More calories used as fuel for the body and its basal metabolic functions than how much is taken in =weight loss. When exercise comes into the equation; and whether it's aerobic or anaerobic changes everything. Diet changes things up even moreso. Exercise--to put it in the most basic of explanations, carbs are carbs, fats are fats and proteins...well, protein is everything. To sum it up... carbs and proteins provide 4 k/calories. Fats are 8 k/calories. That will never change. What you do regarding remaining sedentary or being active is what changes how those are used and in what way.