Hop extract shows weight management potential

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

Hop extract shows weight management potential
Extracts from hops (Humulus lupulus L.) may help manage weight and increase ‘metabolic flexibility’ in mice fed a high fat diet, researchers report.

Lab mice fed a high fat diet and the hop extract had significantly lower body weights than animals only fed the high fat diet, while also improving glucose tolerance to a level achievable by a well-known pharmaceutical, according to findings published in Nutrition​.

Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the MetaProteomics Nutrigenomics Research Center in the US report that the weight management effects were observed from the third week of supplementation and last until the end of the study (20 weeks). Once supplementation was stopped the mice started to gain weight quickly, they added.

Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers note that the hop extract supplemented animals had lower fat accumulation, compared with the high-fat diet-fed control animals.

The researchers used the reduced iso-alpha acid derived from an extract of Humulus lupulus​ L. called Meta060. The extract was supplied by St Paul, Minnesota-based Hopsteiner. The study was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation.

Study details

Led by Leiden’s Irene Vroegrijk, the researchers randomly assigned lab mice to one of four groups: Mice fed a low-fat diet, mice fed a high fat diet, or mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with Meta060 or rosiglitazone (an antidiabetic drug).

Results showed that the Meta060 group had significantly lower body weight than the high-fat diet only mice – with a mean weight of 30.6 grams versus 37.9 grams, respectively.

In addition, glucose tolerance was improved in the hop-extract fed group, “comparable to the effects of rosiglitazone treatment”​, they added.

“The metabolic experiments also indicated that Meta060 did not affect total energy expenditure, food intake, or fatty acid secretion into the feces and thus do not explain the decrease in weight gain of Meta060-supplemented mice,” ​they said.  

“Therefore, metabolic measurements may not be sufficient to resolve a mechanism for the global effects of Meta060 on the mouse metabolism.

“The present data suggest that Meta060 may have therapeutic value as an antidiabetic or antiobesity agent, and future investigations will evaluate its potential clinical use.”

Source: Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.05.004
“META060 protects against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in a high-fat–diet fed mouse”
Authors: I.O.C.M. Vroegrijk, J.A. van Diepen, S.A.A. van den Berg, et al. 

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