Supplement bar could reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Mon, 27 Apr 2015
A fruit-based supplement bar could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

The study, conducted by Drs. Bruce Ames and Mark K. Shigenaga at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), found that the fibre-rich supplement bar offered a range of health benefits, including metabolic benefits that suggest a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The study's participants were not required to make any dietary changes beyond eating two of the supplement bars - known as CHORI-bars - every day for two months. Following the study, the participants reported significant health improvements, including weight loss, reduced chronic inflammation, and increased HDL cholesterol (or "good" cholesterol).

The CHORI-bars are nutritionally complex, optimised to provide specific metabolic and cardiovascular health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. It takes years to engineer them. It also tastes nice; the researchers worked with the United States Department of Agriculture to produce a CHORI-bar that people could enjoy.

In 2012, the first attempts to develop the CHORI-bar tasted terrible, producing a gag response in its testers.

The CHORI-bar does not single-handedly minimise the risk of type 2 diabetes, however, but it could provide a very easy way to enhance other weight loss and metabolism-improving regimes.

The real benefit of the CHORI-bar is its convenience. While dietary changes - such as reducing the amount of calories consumed - can be an effective way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, they can be difficult to implement and adhere to. If successful, the CHORI-bar will offer a number of metabolic and cardiovascular benefits without causing inconvenience.

"Overconsumption of Western diets high in calories, sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, but low in micronutrients [...] is a major cause of the increasing prevalence of obesity," the researchers wrote.

"Because poor diets are the foot cause of these health problems, an obvious approach to the obesity epidemic would be to improve dietary habits. However, changing dietary patterns is difficult for many people to initiate and sustain.

"We have developed, guided by 18 small clinical trials conducted over the last 10 years, a low-calorie, fruit-based bar fortified with micronutrients, fibre, and other dietary components inadequate in a typical Western diet.

"This study highlights the power of food-based, targeted, dietary interventions as alternatives or adjuncts to the use of drugs to treat obesity and associated metabolic dysregulation."

The story was published online in The FASEB Journal.
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