Q. Glen, I heard that cherries can reduce belly fat ! Is that true?
A. Tart cherries may help in the fight against belly fat, University of Michigan researchers said.
The University of Michigan Cardioprotection Research Laboratory study found rats receiving whole tart cherry powder mixed into a high-fat diet were less likely to build up fat in their bellies. The study also found these rats did not gain as much weight and their blood had lower levels of inflammation factors linked to heart disease and diabetes.
"These new findings are very encouraging, especially in light of what is becoming known about the interplay between inflammation, blood lipids, obesity and body composition in cardiovascular disease and diabetes," cardiac surgeon Dr. Steven Bolling said in statement. "The fact that these factors decreased despite the rats' predisposition to obesity, and despite their high-fat 'American-style' diet, is especially interesting."
The researchers said it is too early to know if tart cherries affect humans and note that to eat as many tart cherries as the rats did in the study -- humans would have to consume 1.5 cups of cherries every day.
The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting in San Diego.
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