Rose hip supplements may increase energy expenditure, weight management

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/7000
© iStock/7000

Related tags: Adipose tissue, Obesity

Daily supplements containing rose hip powder may prevent weight gain in lab mice, compared to mice eating a high fat diet only, says a new study from Sweden.

Scientists from Lund University report the rose hip supplementation appeared to work by increasing energy expenditure and inducing the “browning” of white fat.

There are two forms of fat tissue in our bodies: white and brown. White fat tissue primarily stores triglycerides and releases fatty acids and bioactive molecules called adipocytokines. On the other hand, brown fat tissue can also disperse heat (energy). It is also possible to give white fat tissue the thermogenic characteristics of brown fat, leading to so-called “brite” (brown in white) fat cells.

“Since the discovery of [brown fat tissue] also being present in adult humans, increasing its thermogenic capacity or inducing the conversion of white into beige fat could be a therapeutic strategy for obesity, diabetes and metabolic disorders,” ​explained the researchers in Nutrition & Metabolism​.

Study details

The researchers fed lab mice a high fat diet with or without supplemental rose hip powder, provided by Orkla Health (formerly Axellus) at a dose of 30% of the total weight of the diet, for three months.

Results showed that, despite no differences between the groups for energy intake (for quantity of food consumed), the rose hip-fed group had no body weight gain, compared to the control animals, while blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels were also lower.

The rose hip-fed animals also had significantly higher energy expenditure and a higher metabolic rate, compared to the control mice.

“Therefore, we hypothesized that rose hip could stimulate the brown adipose tissue thermogenic capacity or may induce browning of the white adipose tissue,”​ wrote the researchers. Indeed, genetic analysis revealed that the rose hop-fed mice had increased expression of “brite” markers.

“In the present study we identify two possible mechanisms whereby rose hip may exert anti-obesity effects. First, dietary intake of rose hop induces browning of [subcutaneous inguinal white adipose tissue] through upregulation of some [brown adipose tissue] markers […] Second, dietary intake of rose hip appears to decrease intestinal energy absorption,” ​they added.

“Thus, rose hip intake exerts anti-obesity through effects on both [energy expenditure] and [energy intake].

“Confirmatory experiments in human subjects as well as complementary mechanistic studies are required in order to grant rose hip a “brite” future as a dietary supplement to prevent and treat obesity and related metabolic disorders,” ​they concluded.

Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2016, 13​:91, doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0151-5
“Rose hip supplementation increases energy expenditure and induces browning of white adipose tissue”
Authors: M. Cavalera et al 

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