Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 122 of 160

114 INSIDER September/October 2017 SupplySide West Supplements and functional foods are ideally part of an overall wellness lifestyle that encourages good eating habits and body composition. When put into that context, it's important to understand how all those healthy ingredients contribute to a balanced nutrient intake. First, what is body composition? People often mistake it for being the percentage of body fat a person has. But really it is the sum of the body fat plus everything else (called free fat mass, or FFM), which includes muscles, bones, organs, skin, water, blood and other things. The goal is to have a healthy percentage of body fat balanced out by the presence of muscle. When it comes to weight management, body composition is a much more useful concept than weight because people can lose weight without losing fat, and they can gain weight without gaining muscle. Improving body composition happens in two ways: build muscle and lose fat (without losing muscle). Different nutrient groups weigh in differently here. Protein fi rst. Its key benefi ts address both goals. Protein builds and maintains muscle mass and also promotes satiety, helping to curtail calorie intake. Research has shown that 10 to 30 percent more calories are eaten during a high-carb meal than a high-protein meal. Satiety after the meal has also been shown to be greater with high protein, and fewer calories are eaten during later meals. With an ongoing high-protein diet, satiety is continuously higher than with normal protein intake. There has been an effort to show a link between protein-induced satiety and increases in satiety hormones, but research in this area has been ambivalent. Protein is known to increase energy expenditure (a.k.a., thermogenesis), a cornerstone of weight management. This is because proteins require more energy to digest than carbohydrates and fats. The amino acid profi le of the protein also plays a role in how diffi cult it is to break down. For example, histidine and cysteine take 50 to 75 percent more energy to break down than other amino acids. The ability to affect muscle building is also specifi c to each protein. For example, casein is not water soluble and forms a gel in the stomach. This leads to slower digestion and a quick feeling of fullness, but also a slower feeding of amino acids into the body. This is not good for post-workout muscle repair, but great for preventing long-term muscle breakdown and reducing calorie intake. On the other hand, whey is highly soluble and moves into the small intestine for absorption quickly; clinical research has shown that whey stimulates protein synthesis shortly after ingestion, but that its effects are short-lived. 1,2 Amino acids themselves may also have a hand in promoting satiety. Some evidence shows elevated blood levels provide feedback to the brain that results in suppression of feelings of hunger; 3 however, this has not been shown in humans. 4 On the other side of the macronutrient spectrum, fats and fatty acids have been investigated for their effect on body composition. While fats are the least satiating of the macronutrients, researchers studied whether different fats caused different levels of satiety. Oils high in linoleic acid (omega-6), gamma-linoleic acid or oleic acid (omega-9) were used to replace typical fat sources and were consumed by overweight subjects for two weeks. 5 Satiety was signifi cantly higher for high-oleic acid oil following the meal than for the other two treatments, although overall satiety and caloric intake over the week were not affected. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) drew interest after promising results in an animal model for considerably reducing body fat. 6 However, these results do not seem to carry over into humans. A review covering eight human studies noted that only two showed weight loss, and there was no relationship between intake level and weight loss. 7 Further, animal studies documented undesirable side effects such as insulin resistance and decreased plasma leptin. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy and should deliver the highest percentage of daily calories, even with a relatively high-protein diet. Carbs are the easiest fuel for the body and are more necessary if moderate or intense exercise is part of the daily lifestyle. The caveat, of course, is that they should be nutrient dense and not refi ned. Consumers have many ways to balance the amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that together will help achieve and maintain a healthy body composition, depending on the individual's goals and genetic makeup. A last bit of research with a surprising twist: a JAMA review of popular diets found that the most successful diet was the one a person can stay on. 8 Risa Schulman, Ph.D., is a functional food and dietary supplement expert, focusing on sound science, claims and marketing. She is president of Tap~Root, ( a consulting company specializing in health claim substantiation, product development and business strategy. Nutrients That Support Healthy Body Composition by Risa Schulman, Ph.D. Learn more about weight management from Risa Schulman, Ph.D., during the "Tackling Weight Management With Nutrition" Workshop, underwritten by NNB, on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at SupplySide West in Las Vegas. Scan Here Weight Management at SupplySide West For a list of references, email

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Natural Products Insider - SEP-OCT 2017