• Kyodo

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A research group at Kagoshima University recently determined that people can lose weight by eating sugar with dietary fibers, contrary to the common perception that eating sugar causes weight gain.

The research group led by Makoto Fujii, a professor at the university’s school of agriculture, and Assistant Professor Hou Dexing, had verified in experiments using mice and rats that sugar consumption can serve to reduce weight when consumed with arabinose, a type of sugar found in dietary fiber, group members said.

The dietary method cannot only reduce weight but also can protect against obesity and help prevent diabetes and hypertension. The group is currently conducting detailed research trials on their findings.

According to Fujii, sugar is broken down by enzymes in the small intestine and changed to blood glucose and then to fat. However, when arabinose is consumed at the same time, it inhibits the function of the decomposing enzymes.

Glucose that is not digested in the small intestine then passes to the large intestine, where it is broken down by microbes, which produce large amounts of organic acids that curtail fat production in the liver, Fujii said, thus contributing to weight loss.

The results of the experiment showed that mice and rats that had taken in feed containing 20 percent sugar and 2.5 percent arabinose for 30 days had lost an average 36 percent of the fat around the kidneys and neutral lipids in the blood, compared with mice and rats consuming only the sugar.

However, no such fat reducing effect was observed in mice and rats that were fed arabinose alone, Fujii said.

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