Propionate consumption, a food ingredient widely used in baked goods, animal feeds, and artificial flavors, appears to increase the level of certain hormones associated with the risk of obesity and diabetes, according to new research led by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Sheba Medical Center in Israel.
Studies, which combine data from a randomized placebo-controlled test in human and mouse studies, suggest that propionate may trigger a cascade of metabolic events leading to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia-a condition marked by excessive levels of insulin. The findings also showed that in mice, severe exposure to propionate resulted in weight gain and insulin resistance.
The study was published online at Science Translational Medicine on April 24, 2019.
"Understanding how food ingredients affect the body's metabolism in molecular and cellular levels can help us develop simple but effective measures to address the dual epidemic of obesity and diabetes, "says Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, James Stevens Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and Director of the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research at Harvard Chan School.
More than 400 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and the rate of diabetes consumption is projected to increase by 40% by 2040 despite the widespread efforts to eradicate the disease. The surging rate of diabetes, as well as obesity, in the last 50 years indicates that environmental and dietary factors should influence the growth of the epidemic. Researchers say that dietary ingredients including ingredients used for preparing or maintaining food may be a contributing factor, but there is little research to evaluate these molecules.
For this study, researchers are focused on propionate, a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid that helps prevent mold from eating out. They presented a short chain of fatty acid in the rats and discovered that it quickly activated the sympathetic nervous system, which led to a surge in hormones, including glucagon, norepinephrine, and a newly discovered gluconeogenic hormone called fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4). This leads to mice to produce more glucose from their liver cells, leading to hyperglycemia-a definition of diabetes. Additionally, researchers have found that chronic treatment of mice with dose of propionate amounts that are often consumed by humans leads to significant weight gain in rats, as well as insulin resistance.
To determine how findings in mice Can be translated into humans, researchers have established a double-blinded placebo-controlled study that includes 14 healthy participants. Participants were randomized into two groups: A group received a meal containing a gram of propionate as an additive and the other group was given a meal containing a placebo. Blood samples are collected before meals, within 15 minutes of meals, and every 30 minutes after four hours.
Researchers found that people who ate propionate foods had a significant increase in norepinephrine as well as increased glucagon and FABP4 as soon as possible after eating. The findings indicate that propionate can act as a "metabolic disruptor" that potentially increases the risk for diabetes and obesity in humans. Researchers say that while propionate is generally recognized as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, new findings allow further probiotics and potential alternatives that can be used in preparing food.
"The dramatic increase in obesity and diabetes over the last 50 years indicates the participation of contributing to environmental and dietary factors. One of the reasons that gives attention is the ingredients in common foods We are releasing hundreds of these chemicals daily, and most have not been tested in detail with their potential long-term metabolic effects, "says Amir Tirosh, professor of medicine at the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel -Aviv University, director of the Division of Endocrinology at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and research fellow at Harvard Chan School.
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A. Tirosh el al., "Short-chain fatty acid propionate adds glucagon production and insulin resistance to mice and humans," Science Translational Medicine (2019). stm.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/ … scitranslmed.aav0120
Can a popular diet include the risk for diabetes and obesity? (2019, April 24)
retrieved April 24, 2019
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