A new study conducted by University of Calgary suggests that a dietary fiber supplement named oligofructose may lead to better weight control.
The research helped to determine the mechanisms of weight control and energy balance. The experiment was conducted on rats, which were given the dietary fiber supplement while being on a high fat and high sugar diet, resulting in lesser weight gain as compared to those who didn't eat fiber.
Dr. Keith Sharkey, senior author of the study, said that it was found that a simple diet with prebiotic oligofructose fiber reduced weight gain, and also led to long-term maintenance of a lower body weight in the face of a continued dietary challenge.
Despite having constant access to food high in fat and sugar, rats given supplemental oligofructose fiber gained about one third less weight than the control group. The effect was seen regardless of the animals' genetic predisposition to obesity, with rats prone to obesity and those that were more resistant and relatively leaner showing similar results.
Dr. Nina Cluny, from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology said that the striking finding was they both gained far less weight than controls.
Oligofructose is a naturally occurring dietary fiber found in vegetables such as onions and other foods such as bananas, and is suspected to decrease weight gain by affecting the composition of microbiota and some of the gut hormones that control food intake.
However, according to the scientists, oligofructose shouldn't be seen as a potential alternative to exercise and diet.
The study has been published in Obesity