UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Dietary supplementation with phytosterol and ascorbic acid reduces body mass accumulation and alters food transit time in a diet-induced obesity mouse model Thornton, Sheila J; Wong, Ian T; Neumann, Rachel; Kozlowski, Petri; Wasan, Kishor M


Previous research indicates that animals fed a high fat (HF) diet supplemented with disodium ascorbyl phytostanyl phosphate (DAPP) exhibit reduced mass accumulation when compared to HF control. This compound is a water-soluble phytostanol ester and consists of a hydrophobic plant stanol covalently bonded to ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). To provide insight into the mechanism of this response, we examined the in vivo effects of a high fat diet supplemented with ascorbic acid (AA) in the presence and absence of unesterified phytosterols (PS), and set out to establish whether the supplements have a synergistic effect in a diet-induced obesity mouse model. Our data indicate that HF diet supplementation with a combination of 1% w/w phytosterol and 1% w/w ascorbic acid results in reduced mass accumulation, with mean differences in absolute mass between PSAA and HF control of 10.05%; and differences in mass accumulation of 21.6% (i.e. the PSAA group gained on average 21% less mass each week from weeks 7-12 than the HF control group). In our previous study, the absolute mass difference between the 2% DAPP and HF control was 41%, while the mean difference in mass accumulation between the two groups for weeks 7-12 was 67.9%. Mass loss was not observed in animals supplemented with PS or AA alone. These data suggest that the supplements are synergistic with respect to mass accumulation, and the esterification of the compounds further potentiates the response. Our data also indicate that chronic administration of PS, both in the presence and absence of AA, results in changes to fecal output and food transit time, providing insight into the possibility of long-term changes in intestinal function related to PS supplementation.

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