Due to faulty
lifestyles, obesity has become a major health concern across the globe,
including developing nations. Obesity refers to having too much adipose tissue
or fat in the body.
It has been suggested
that micronutrient deficiency increases susceptibility to obesity. Calorie
restriction during dieting may further worsen the micronutrient deficiency in
these individuals. Hence, it is possible that addition of micronutrients will
be beneficial in these cases.
Alma Tovar and
colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial in obese Mexican women that
was published in Nutrition Journal 2012.
The researchers state,
"Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the
extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life
expectancy and/or increased health problems."
The objective of the
trial was to determine the efficacy of partial meal replacement with or without
inulin on lipid reduction and intake of micronutrients in obese women of
replacements are replacements of one or two meals with lower calories meals
with additional micronutrients. These meals are used to reduce weight by
decreasing the total caloric intake. Addition of a substance like inulin to
these meals can provide additional benefits. Inulins are naturally occurring
polysaccharides produced by plants. Some plants use inulins for storing energy
and are found typically in rhizomes and roots. Inulin has been known to reduce
triglyceride levels and increase the absorption of minerals like zinc, iron,
magnesium and calcium.
Around 144 women
volunteers participated in this controlled trial. They were aged between 18 to
50 years and their basal metabolic rate was greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2.
The volunteers were
given either of the below treatments for three months-
1) Two doses/day of a
partial meal replacement (PMR)
2) Two doses/day of
PMR with inulin (PMR + I)
3) Two doses/day of 5
g of inulin (INU) and
4) Control group (CON)
Low calorie food was
given to all the participants and their weight, height waist and hip
circumferences were recorded after every two weeks while their lipid and
glucose levels, body composition and intake of nutrients were recorded after
The volunteers of all
the four groups showed a marked reduction in waist and hip circumference,
weight and BMI values. The study also
found that partial meal replacement with or without inulin along with a low
calorie diet showed no additional effect on reduction of weight. However, it
was effective in improving the micronutrient intake and reducing triglyceride
levels. It was thus concluded that "PMR could be a good alternative for obese
populations with micronutrient deficiencies."
The inclusion of a partial meal replacement with
or without inulin to a calorie restricted diet contributes to reach recommended
intakes of micronutrients and decrease plasma triglycerides: A randomized
clinical trial in obese Mexican women; Alma Tovar et al; Nutrition Journal 2012