Islamabad-A new study suggests mulberries could be key to new treatments for obesity, after finding a natural compound in the fruit activates brown fat, boosting metabolism and aiding weight loss.

Study co-author Wan-Zhu Jin of Chinese Academy of Sciences and team set out to investigate the metabolic effects of rutin, with the aim of determining whether the compound might aid weight loss.

Mulberries are believed to have a wealth of health benefits, including reduced cholesterol, improved blood sugar levels, and lower risk of cancer.

Obesity has become a significant health concern in the United States; more than 1 in 3 adults and and 1 in 6 children and adolescents are obese, putting them at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

While lifestyle changes - such as adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity - are considered primary strategies for the treatment of obesity, such changes may not be enough for some individuals, highlighting the need for alternative treatment methods.

In both groups of mice, rutin was found to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT), or brown fat, which led to increased energy expenditure, better glucose homeostasis - the balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain glucose levels - and fat reduction.

Brown fat is activated by cold, causing it to burn energy and produce heat. According to the researchers, rutin acts as a “cold mimetic” by activating a specific signaling cascade, which increases the activity of a gene called UCP1 and the number of mitochondria in brown fat.

Additionally, the team found that rutin triggered the formation of brown-like fat cells in subcutaneous adipose tissue - the fat located under the skin - in both mouse models of obesity.

Based on their results, Jin and colleagues believe rutin may offer a novel treatment approach to obesity and other conditions associated with excess weight.

Wan-Zhu Jin, Ph.D. said that “The beneficial effects of rutin on BAT-mediated metabolic improvement have evoked a substantial interest in the potential treatment for obesity and its related diseases, such as diabetes.

In line with this idea, discovery of more safe and effective BAT activators is desired to deal with obesity and its related diseases.”

Bitter foods are good for

liver, reduce sugar craving

Many of you would pull a face on the idea of eating bitter foods, but they have incredible health benefits. Bitter foods and herbs help to stimulate digestive juices and support food digestion. Bitter foods help stimulate our taste receptors on the tongue, which subsequently stimulates enzyme production and bile flow. The better your food is digested, the more nutrients you will absorb from your food. It doesn’t matter what you eat, if you can’t absorb it, it won’t be of much benefit to you.

In general, bitter greens are packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C and K and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. They are high in folate and fiber and low in fat and sodium. Arugula, for example, is packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium and iron, while dandelion greens provide vitamins A, E, K, calcium, iron and antioxidants.

It’s recommended that adults consume eight to 10 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Greens are an important part of healthy eating, although bitter greens require a certain palate.

Rinse and wash greens carefully in cold water to remove sand and grit, then dry them in a salad spinner or blot to remove excess water. Eat greens raw or cooked and toss with olive oil for better absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.

Bitter greens like radicchio, dandelion greens, endive, kale, and arugula contain phytonutrients that support the liver as it manages cholesterol, balances hormones, detoxifies the blood and metabolizes fats.