Navigation Links
U of I scientist says slimming soybeans are on the horizon

URBANA If you're serious about losing weight, check out recent studies done in Elvira de Mejia's University of Illinois laboratory. Her research provides insight into the way a certain type of soy protein inhibits fat accumulation and reduces inflammation.

"We found that soybeans rich in beta-conglycinins limit lipid accumulation in fat cells by inhibiting an enzyme called fatty acid synthase. What's more, we have identified the specific peptides (digested proteins) that do this, and we are now beginning to understand the mechanism behind it. This is exciting research because it could lead to the development of nutraceuticals to fight obesity," said de Mejia, a U of I associate professor of food science and human nutrition.

The study was also the first to establish the anti-inflammatory properties of soy high in this type of protein. "The peptides fight inflammation by blocking key enzymes in the body's immune response," said the scientist.

de Mejia said that soy contains, among others, two types of protein, glycinins and beta-conglycinins, and the most important factor influencing a soy cultivar's healthful effects is the proportion in which they occur. Her research shows that soy that is low in glycinins and high in beta-conglycinins is preferred for its ability to inhibit lipid accumulation and inflammation.

"Using the latest molecular marker-assisted breeding techniques, soybeans with the right composition can be tagged and later identified using a simple leaf tissue sample. This would make it possible to create high-yielding cultivars that contained the 'slimming' trait for soybean farmers to grow in their fields," she said.

How did de Mejia discover that certain soybeans had this slimming effect? She had learned from her previous research that administration of soy protein caused weight loss in laboratory rats, but she wanted to know exactly why it happened.

She incubated human fat cells in the lab, treated them with soy hydrolysates from 15 soy genotypes containing varying amounts of beta-conglycinin, and then measured the amount of fat that accumulated.

"As we increased the concentration of beta-conglycinin, we saw more inhibition of lipids and less accumulation of fat. Further testing showed that this occurred because fatty acid synthase, an enzyme responsible for synthesizing lipids, had been suppressed.

"We also found that fat cells exposed to digests made from the 'slimming' soybeans increased the synthesis of adiponectin, a hormone that enhances insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism," she said.

She then compared the activity of beta-conglycinins with glycinins and found that hydrolysates from beta-conglycinins inhibited almost 50 percent of lipid accumulation in the fat cells. Glycinins did not inhibit lipid accumulation at all, she said.

In a separate study, her team identified specific soy peptides that inhibit fatty acid synthase, and they were able to learn exactly how it happens.

de Mejia and her colleagues are now taking their research a step further by performing human trials with soy milk that is high in beta-conglycinins.

"For years we've known that soy protein is a good source of essential amino acids. Soy helps us maintain muscle mass, and its peptides make people feel full so they don't eat as much," she said.

"Now it appears that products made from soybeans selected for this particular protein profile may also help limit fat accumulation. Food manufacturers will be able to create soy products targeted at consumers who are trying to maintain their ideal weight," she said.


Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists ID a protein that splices and dices genes
2. Breakthrough by Danish scientists in preventing maternal malaria
3. NIH scientists identify maternal and fetal genes that increase preterm birth risk
4. UM School of Medicine scientists find new malaria vaccine is safe and protective in children
5. Gladstone scientists identify target that may reduce complications of obesity
6. Scientists map out regulatory regions of genome, hot spots for diabetes genes
7. Doctors and Scientists Create New Society to Promote Non-Animal Toxicology Testing Methods
8. Scientists discover enzyme that cleans cancer cells
9. Scientists Decode Brain Cancer Cell Line
10. Scientists show how molecular switch helps pancreatic cancer beat drugs
11. Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based ... packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference ... Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study published online in ... cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... been recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the addition ... 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing Awareness among ... offering. Boston scientific and ... and others. --> The market is dominated ... scientific and others. Asia ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has announced ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the French ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... STOCKHOLM , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att ... av magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med ... tecknat ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för ... kliniska forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: