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Afraid of the Christmas belly? Sweet cherries to the rescue!

Posted December 22, 2017

Holidays are associated with the most delicious food and, unfortunately, weight gain. We tend to avoid stepping on a scale during Christmas period and often swear we are going to start exercising soon after the New Year. However, now scientists are saying that there are measures to slow down the weight gain in fat-rich diets. The answer is sweet cherry, as revealed by a new study by the University of Tasmania.

Dark sweet cherries are rich with anthocyanin – a compound, which helps reducing weight gain. Image credit: Hans Braxmeier via Wikimedia

The miraculous substance is anthocyanin – a bioactive compound, which sweet cherries are rich of. Anthocyanins are found in other fruits and berries as well, but scientists have never researched their benefits in sweet cherries. However, now researchers from the University of Tasmania are providing evidence that sweet cherry anthocyanin is a useful weapon in the combat against obesity. This, of course, is good news to everyone during these upcoming holidays, but scientists have to hatch a plan to create treatments and, possibly, supplements that would be easily attainable for everyone.

Sweet cherries are darker than the sour ones and they are extremely rich in anthocyanin. In order to make use of this research in a medical industry, the University of Tasmania looked for partners that helped developing methodology of extracting the anthocyanin. However, before any pills or drinks or something can be developed scientists had to prove the basic concept. They decided to conduct experiments with mice. Rodents were split into two groups – a six-week prevention trial and a 10-week reversal trial. They were fed with fat-rich diets and were given anthocyanin at the start of the prevention trial and at the end of week six in the reversal trial. Scientists found that mice in the prevention trial gained 19% less weight with six weeks of supplementation of anthocyanin.

Anthocyanins have a number of different health benefits. Even in this research scientists noticed that they helped reducing inflammation. Scientists are now looking to the future steps of the research that will logically include human trials. Melanie Blackhall, author of the study, said: “Obesity is a global health concern where people take a range of drug regimens, and we would hope that anthocyanin could be included as part of treatment. We are also wanting to help consumers make the right choices about what they are consuming to prevent weight gain”.

So now during the holidays you should find some space not only for desert, but also for a handful of sweet cherries. While that may not be enough to prevent your body from putting on those extra kilograms, it may at least slow down the weight gain a little bit.


Source: University of Tasmania

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