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Could sweet potato waste water be the next weight loss hack?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Sweet potato waste water possible benefits for human health

Researchers have learned something new about sweet potato water that could help humans with weight loss and more.


Scientists found sweet potato water that we all pour down the drain helped mice lose weight.

Sweet potato peptide potential for obesity

Dr. Koji Ishiguro from National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Japan and colleagues wanted to see if the liquid residue that remains after we boil sweet potatoes had any health benefits, recognizing how much is wasted each year.

The authors point out sweet potato wastewater can have a negative impact on the environment. The food is used to make distilled spirits in Japan, consumed boiled, added to desserts and used to make pie and produces starch material as a food additive.

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"We throw out huge volumes of wastewater that contains sweet potato proteins - we hypothesized that these could affect body weight, fat tissue and other factors," explained Dr. Ishiguro in a media statement. "Finding alternative uses for the sweet potato proteins in wastewater could be good for the environment and industry, and also potentially for health."

The researchers fed three groups of mice a high fat diet; then looked at the effect after 28 days of either no intervention, a low or a high dose of the protein.

Weight, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, liver and fatty tissue measurements were calculated as well as leptin levels - the hormone that tells us when we are full.

See: Amazing health benefits of sweet potato

The findings showed mice given SSP had:

  • Lower liver mass
  • Significantly lower body weight
  • Reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Higher levels of hormones that control hunger and appetite

The research, published in the journal Helliyon, suggests there might be benefit for weight loss from sweet potato water. The next step would be more research to find out if such a simple intervention could help tackle obesity and metabolic syndrome in humans.