Connection between Flavonoid Consumption and Weight Maintenance

According to recent study published in BMJ, consuming apples, pears, berries, onions and other flavonoid wealthy fruits and veggies might prevent weight gain.images

There are over 6,000 kinds of flavonoids, which are normally present in many fruits and vegetables. Some of the more recognized types consist of flavonols, flavones, flavanones and anthocyanins.

Earlier studies have related dietary flavonoids with weight loss, however the research team engaged in this recent study – which includes Monica L. Bertoia,  states that most studies have focused on the weight loss outcome of flavan-3-ol, a flavonoid identified in green tea.

What is more, Bertoia and colleagues say most earlier research evaluating the connection between dietary flavonoids and weight loss have only involved a small number of individuals who were obese or overweight.

For their research, the research team started to evaluate how consumption of 7 kinds of flavonoids influenced the weight of 124,086 people aged 27-65 who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Research, the Nurses’ Health Study or the Nurses’ Health Study II.

Every four years between 1986-2011, individuals were needed to fill up a dietary questionnaire, from which the investigators evaluated their consumption of dietary flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and flavonoid polymers.

Individuals’ weight, lifestyle habits and medical diagnosis of any illnesses were evaluated through a questionnaire completed every 2 years.

Anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers, flavonols connected to lowest weight gain

The investigators identified that individuals who enhanced their intake of certain flavonoid types – flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoid polymers – throughout the study period were less probable to experience weight gain.

Anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols were connected with the least weight gain; every extra 10 mg of anthocyanins, 138 mg of flavonoid polymers and 7 mg of flavonols taken daily were associated with 0.16-0.23 Ibs less weight obtained each 4 years.

These results were obtained after accounting for most likely confounding factors, such as changes to individuals’ smoking status, physical exercise and other dietary factors.

The main sources of anthocyanins in the research were strawberries and blueberries, while tea and onions were the major sources of flavonols. Consumption of flavan-3-ols and their polymers mainly came from tea and apples.

Bertoia and colleagues note that their results are observational, which means no certain conclusion can be reached.

Still, the research team says the outcomes could assist combat the present obesity outbreak by providing guidance on which fruits and vegetables are most effective for weight maintenance:

“Greater consumption of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers may play a role to weight maintenance in adulthood and may assist to improve dietary recommendations for the reduction of obesity and its possible outcomes.”

The investigators add that avoiding just small amounts of weight gain can have a major effect on public health, decreasing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some kinds of cancer.

The authors say that there are some limitations to their results. For instance, while individuals’ consumption of flavonoids was evaluated through a dietary questionnaire, the quantity of flavonoids existing in foods is likely to have a difference based on food ripeness, food handling, storage and season.

In addition, they observe that the dietary questionnaire may not have recognized all food sources of flavonoids, so the outcomes may have underestimated the connection between flavonoid consumption and weight maintenance.