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New Fat Fighting Supplement May Come from Milk

Tim Boyer's picture

In a recent issue of Cell Metabolism, researchers have discovered that a natural component in milk, when provided in high concentrations, increases metabolism and protects mice fed a high fat diet from developing obesity. The researchers believe that their findings open the door to a new fat fighting supplement from milk that may benefit obese individuals.

Resveratrol, the popular red wine ingredient known to increase the level of a metabolism boosting gene called SIRT1, has been the topic of numerous articles suggesting that red wine can fight the war against fat. However, drinking enough red wine to receive the benefits of resveratrol is a near-impossibility and has resulted in a market for supplements consisting of an extract of the fat fighting active ingredient in red wine.

As it turns out, however, researchers have recently discovered that red wine is not the only common beverage that has fat fighting abilities.

In a recent study looking for new ways to increase the levels of SIRT1, researchers have discovered that a vitamin-like component of milk called “nicotimamide riboside” is involved in the pathway that leads to expression of SIRT1.

"This [nicotimamide riboside] is present in what we've all been eating since day one," states Johan Auwerx of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in a press release issued by Cell Metabolism.

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In the study, mice were given supplements of nicotinamide riboside in fairly high doses along with their high-fat meals and were found to burn more fat and were protected from developing obesity. An added benefit the researchers found was that these same mice also become better runners due to enhanced muscle development that provided greater endurance.

According to an extract from the researchers’ published paper:

We show that NR [nicotimamide riboside ] supplementation in mammalian cells and mouse tissues increases NAD+ levels and activates SIRT1 and SIRT3, culminating in enhanced oxidative metabolism and protection against high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. Consequently, our results indicate that the natural vitamin NR could be used as a nutritional supplement to ameliorate metabolic and age-related disorders characterized by defective mitochondrial function.

The authors note that—like drinking red wine— it is unlikely that a person can drink enough milk to receive enough nicotimamide riboside to achieve the same results as found in mice; however, that creation of a nicotimamide riboside supplement could be used in fighting fat and that additional studies are needed to investigate this possibility.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFIle

Reference: “The NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside enhances oxidative metabolism and protects against high-fat diet induced obesity” Cell Metabolism, 15(6); 6 June 2012; CanCarles Cantó et al.