(Purchase, New York) – According to the director of the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the number one health threat facing Americans today.1 Being obese is a leading contributor to all three top causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. The type of body fat that has doctors particularly concerned is visceral fat, which collects in the abdominal area around the vital organs and is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome. In a presentation at the 16th Annual European Congress on Obesity (ECO), Professor Jun Nishihira presented new evidence that Oligonol®, a proprietary low molecular weight polyphenol from lychee fruit, reduces the accumulation of visceral fat, and therefore may prevent metabolic syndrome.
Researchers from Hokkaido Information University, a private university located in Hokkaido, Japan, and Amino Up Chemical Co., Ltd, makers of Oligonol, teamed up to examine the effect of the proprietary polyphenol on clinical parameters of metabolic syndrome such as abdominal obesity. Nineteen male and female adult volunteers, whose abdominal circumference measured greater than 85 cm (33.5 inches), were enrolled in the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Half the subjects took two Oligonol capsules for 10 weeks, while the other half took placebo capsules.
The results of the trial were impressive. Not only did Oligonol group subjects experience reductions in weight, body mass index, abdominal circumference, and waist circumference compared to the placebo group — abdominal CT scan analyses also revealed they showed a dramatic 15-percent drop in visceral fat. To understand the significance of that reduction, consider this: A study conducted by Duke University on 175 overweight men and women found that folks who performed high-dose vigorous intensity activity (20 miles of jogging each week) saw their visceral fat levels drop by only 7 percent in six months.2 In other words, Oligonol reduced visceral fat levels twice as much as vigorous exercise — in less than half the time.3
Exactly how Oligonol reduces visceral fat isn’t perfectly clear, but this study offered one clue. Blood tests showed that the antioxidant ability of the Oligonol group trended higher than that of the placebo group, while their levels of triglycerides and lipid peroxides (fats that have been attacked by free radicals) were remarkably reduced. That would indicate that Oligonol prevents metabolic syndrome through its unique antioxidant activity.
Increasingly common in the United States, metabolic syndrome is a growing health concern. According to the American Heart Association, the disorder is characterized by a group of metabolic
risk factors, including:
· Abdominal obesity
· Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance
· High triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high LDL cholesterol
· Elevated blood pressure
· Prothrombotic state (e.g., high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor–1 in the blood)
· Proinflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood)
People who have metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. If Oligonol can indeed tackle one of the main risk factors for metabolic syndrome — abdominal obesity — this proprietary new ingredient could hold out new hope for the 50 million Americans affected by the disorder.
1 CDC Chief: Obesity top health threat. CNN.com. Oct. 29, 2003. http://edition.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/diet.fitness/10/29/obesity.threat.reut/index.html (Accessed May 19, 2008.)
2 Nordqvist, Christian. Dangerous visceral fat builds up if you don’t exercise, can go down if you do. Medical News Today. Sept. 15, 2005. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/30641.php (Accessed May 19, 2008.)
3 Amelioration of abdominal obesity by low molecular weight polyphenol (Oligonol) from lychee. 16th European Congress on Obesity. Geneva, Switzerland. May 14-17, 2008. www.eco2008.org