• Katie Floyd

Purple Corn Color vs. Obesity and Hyperglycemia

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

January starts a new year full of new resolutions, goals, and health and fitness routines. So, it comes as no surprise that January is also Healthy Weight Awareness Month.

Various research studies have shown that anthocyanins have both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, giving them strong potential in the nutraceutical market. Further research conducted on anthocyanins, specifically dietary purple corn extract, shows they may have positive effects on blood sugar levels and the potential to counteract obesity.

A study from Doshisha University in Japan, aimed to determine the connection between anthocyanins in “purple corn color” (PCC), obesity prevention, and improving hyperglycemia. The study defines obesity as “the accumulation of excess adipose tissue resulting from various metabolic disorders” and “is controlled by both genetic and environmental factors.” Consuming a diet high in fat is one of the environmental factors strongly associated with the development of obesity. And high-fat, diet-induced obesity can lead to insulin resistance and the potential development of type 2 diabetes. Thus, the improvement of insulin resistance is important.

Mice were randomly placed into four groups and fed: control, cyanidin 3-glucoside-rich purple corn color (PCC), high-fat diet (HF), or HF + PCC diet for 12 weeks. Feeding the high-fat diet induced hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hyperinsulinemia (high insulin level), and hyperleptinemia (higher than normal leptins in the bloodstream).

Results at the end of the study found that dietary PCC “significantly suppressed the HF diet-induced increase in body weight gain, and white and brown adipose tissue weights.” They also showed that the hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia were normalized in the mice fed the HF + PCC diet. This suggests that dietary PCC can improve high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance in mice.

The full study can be found here: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/7/2125/4688337

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