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Is Atkins still your diet? High fat diet boosts obesity, diabetes risk

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By David Liu, PHD.

Monday June 11, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- The high fat Western diet can be at least partially responsible for the obesity epidemic in the United States, according to a new study released online 7 June 2012 in the journal Obesity, which also suggests that eating a special type mushroom may reduce the high-fat induced risk for obesity and diabetes among other things.  

Mylène Vincent of University Paris Diderot in Paris, France and colleagues conducted the study to examine the effect of agaricus blazei murill extract on the risk of obesity and diabetes induced by a high fat diet in an animal model.

For the study, the researchers fed Wisstar rats one of four diets, control diet, high fat diet, high fat diet with or without supplemented agaricus blazei murill (ABM) extract for 20 weeks.

They found that high fat diet induced body weight gain and increased fat mass, compared to the control diet.  The high fat diet also led to the development of hyperleptinemia and insulinemia as well as insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.  Saturated fat and trans fat are known to have a negative impact on insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Agaricus subrufescens

The high fat diet was also found to trigger inflammation as the researchers found visceral adipose tissue expressed biomarkers of inflammation in high fat diet fed rats.

However, in rats fed high fat diet with supplemented the mushroom extract, the gain in body weight  was smaller, and the disorders studied were less severe. 

The researchers further found that the protective effect against body weight gain and studied disorders was not due to decreased food consumption because the high fat diet fed rats ate actually higher amounts of foods with or without the mushroom extract supplemented. Supplementation of the mushroom exact did not cause any change in gut microbiota composition.

The protection was due to an increase in both energy expenditure and locomotor activity.
Agaricus blazei murill has been found to offer protection against a number of malignacies including colorectal cancer, fibrosarcoma, sarcoma, gynaecologicalcancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, leukaemia, myeloma, hepatocarcinoma, stomach cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer, according to wikipedia.

Actually in Japan and Brazil, this mushroom is used to treat cancer. It is believed that this mushroom helps fight cancer because it contains high levels of beta glucans which are known to boost immunity against a series of diseases including cancer.

Garicus subrufescens (syn. Agaricus blazei, Agaricus brasiliensis or Agaricus rufotegulis) may also help fight  viral infections, cholesterol, pathogenic factors, and angiogenesis.

Recently research like the current study suggests that eating this mushroom may lower blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, prevent obesity and diabetes.

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