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U of I scientist says slimming soybeans are on the horizon
Date:4/1/2010

reated 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.


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Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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