Universitat Rovira i Virgili

The research group published a research paper in the European Journal of Nutrition

Several studies have suggested that flavanols may have antiobesity effects; however, those effects clearly depend on the experimental conditions. In a previous study, we found that a single acute dose of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) has satiating effects. We therefore hypothesise that satiating doses of GSPE could be used to reduce body weight gain, and our present objective was to define the most effectivedose.

We assayed two GSPE doses in aged male Wistar rats. First we performed a subchronic (8-day) treatment by intragastric administration, which was repeated after a washout period. We measured body weight, energy intake and faeces composition; we performed indirect calorimetry; and we analysed the mRNA expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism to determine the target tissue for the GSPE.

We observed that 0.5 g GSPE/kg BW significantly reduced food intake and thus the amount of energy absorbed. This dosage also increased lipid oxidation in subcutaneous adipose tissue, thus causing a higher total energy expenditure. These combined effects caused a decrease in body weight. Conversely, 1 g GSPE/kg BW, which also reduced energy absorption after the first treatment, had a rebound effect on body weight gain which resulted in a lower response to the proanthocyanidin extract. That is, after the second treatment, the GSPE did not reduce the energy absorbed or modify energy expenditure and body weight.

We concluded that GSPE at a dose of 0.5 g/kg can reduce body weight by limiting food intake and activating energy expenditure in subcutaneous adipose tissue.

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