Fabuless may promote body fat loss under weight loss conditions: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Supplementation of a calorie-controlled diet with Fabuless – a combination of palm and oat oil fractions – may enhance body fat loss, compared with no supplementation, says a new study.

Overweight women participating in a six week calorie-controlled diet and a further 12 week meal replacement plan and taking a daily dose of DSM’s Fabuless supplement lost an average 0.9 percent more body fat than women on the same diet plans but not receiving the supplement, according to new results published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

The extra body fat loss equates to about 0.7 kg of body fat mass loss, according to researchers from KPL Good Food Practice AB (Sweden), DSM Food Specialties, and Uppsala University in Sweden.

DSM delight

The results were welcomed by Philip Rijken, head of nutritional science Europe and Asia Pacific at DSM Nutritional Products. “We are delighted that these findings confirm once more that Fabuless has positive effects in weight management and appetite control,”​ he said.

“These results add to the now extensive science base supporting Fabuless from an efficacy and mode of action perspective and prove our ability to produce effective and commercially viable products for the weight management market. Combined with other exciting recent scientific findings, this will increase scientific and customer interest in Fabuless,”​ added Rijken.

The new study was funded by DSM Food Specialties.

The ingredient is said to work by encapsulating particles of palm oil in oats, which are then formulated in a novel emulsion.

Study details

Led by KPL’s Johan Olsson the researchers recruited 43 overweight women to participate in their randomized, controlled, double-blind trial. The average age of the women was 47.9 and their average BMI at the start of the study was 28.25 kg/m2.

After a six week calorie-controlled weight loss program the women were randomly assigned to receive a single meal replacement plan with a Fabuless supplement (12.5 gram serving, DSM Food Specialties), or the meal plan plus a dairy control (cream with equal level of fat) for a further 12 weeks.

Results showed that women in the Fabuless group lost an average of 1.7 percent body fat mass, compared with 0.8 percent in the control group.

“A diet using meal replacements containing this stable emulsion was safe and yielded a significantly greater body fat loss with no differences in weight change after an initial weight loss compared to the control group,”​ wrote the researchers.

“This may facilitate longer-term compliance with a weight loss program and suggests that the program is nutritionally sound if applied appropriately.”


According to findings published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology​ (2009, Vol. 44, pp. 1186-90), the ingredient works by activating the ileal brake – a phenomenon whereby functions in the upper regions of the gastrointestinal tract are inhibited.

In a review in 2008, scientists from University Hospital Maastricht called the ileal brake ‘a sensible food target for appetite control’ (Physiol Behav​., Vol. 95, pp. 271-81). The brake has potential for a couple reasons, they said: Reduces food intake and increases satiety levels; the appetite-reducing effects appear to be maintained over time.

Careful formulation

A recent study by Unilever scientists questioned the efficacy of the ingredient when formulated into various foods. Results published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​ (doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.187) indicated that the “ingredient was not robust to common food-manufacturing processes”​.

Speaking to NutraIngredients in October, Emily Tellers, global business manager for DSM Nutritional Products explained that: “Like any emulsion, ​[Fabuless] can be sensitive to certain product and processing conditions. DSM has not analysed the products referred to in this paper, and cannot therefore comment on their appropriateness.

“However, we know that emulsion integrity is important for Fabuless efficacy. Typically products are tested by DSM together with customers before entering the market,”​ she added.

Source: European Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s00394-010-0131-x
“Effect of a vegetable-oil emulsion on body composition; a 12-week study in overweight women on a meal replacement therapy after an initial weight loss: a randomized controlled trial”
Authors: J. Olsson, B. Sundberg, A. Viberg, A. Haenni

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