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Spices Reduce Negative Effects of High-Fat Meal

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#1
Evermont

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If you're avoiding carbs... I guess you want to do it up right!

Antioxidant Spices, Like Turmeric and Cinnamon, Reduce Negative Effects of High-Fat Meal

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2011) — Eating a diet rich in spices, like turmeric and cinnamon, reduces the body's negative responses to eating high-fat meals, according to Penn State researchers.

"Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood," said Sheila West, associate professor of biobehavioral health, Penn State, who led the study. "If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased. We found that adding spices to a high-fat meal reduced triglyceride response by about 30 percent, compared to a similar meal with no spices added."

West and her colleagues prepared meals on two separate days for six men between the ages of 30 and 65 who were overweight, but otherwise healthy. The researchers added two tablespoons of culinary spices to each serving of the test meal, which consisted of chicken curry, Italian herb bread, and a cinnamon biscuit. The control meal was identical, except that spices were not included. The team drew blood from the participants every 30 minutes for three hours. They reported their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

"In the spiced meal, we used rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika," said Ann Skulas-Ray, postdoctoral fellow. "We selected these spices because they had potent antioxidant activity previously under controlled conditions in the lab."

When the meal contained a blend of antioxidant spices, antioxidant activity in the blood was increased by 13 percent and insulin response decreased by about 20 percent.

According to West, many scientists think that oxidative stress contributes to heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. "Antioxidants, like spices, may be important in reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing the risk of chronic disease," she said, adding that the spice dose they used provided the equivalent amount of antioxidants contained in 5 ounces of red wine or 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate.

Skulas-Ray noted that adding two tablespoons of spices to meals did not cause stomach upset in the participants. "They enjoyed the food and had no gastrointestinal problems," she said. But, she added, "The participants were notified ahead of time that they would be eating highly spiced foods and they were willing to do so."

In the future, West plans to investigate whether she can get the same results by adding smaller doses of spices to meals.

Other Penn State researchers on the paper include Ann Skulas-Ray, graduate student; Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition; Danette Teeter, former research assistant; and John Vanden Heuvel, professor of veterinary science. Chung-Yen (Oliver) Chen, scientist, Tufts University, also was involved in the study.

The McCormick Science Institute and National Institutes of Health supported this work.

(link)



#2
raffi

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I like spices and add lots of garlic to most of my meals, but I'm wondering about the statement that "Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides". From what I'm reading and seeing, that is only true when coupled with high carbs. Most people I've heard from doing low carb and high fat are seeing very low levels of triglycerides. Mine is in the low 40s.

#3
Seagal

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Ditto what Raffi said! Evidently, my MCToil, C.O., butter, sour cream, cream and mayo haven't hurt my tris. mine are 50.

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#4
Evermont

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Yeah, it occurred to me that this is possibly a new measure of trigs - as opposed to the fasting cholesterol tests we normally get:

... The team drew blood from the participants every 30 minutes for three hours. ...


Is this a new "bolus trigs" concern as opposed to our typical "basal trigs" ?

#5
raffi

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That might make more sense, but I wonder if those are correlated with heart issues the same as the fasting. Any idea if a study has been done?

#6
Evermont

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That might make more sense, but I wonder if those are correlated with heart issues the same as the fasting. Any idea if a study has been done?


I'm not aware of any such studies - but then I tend to be opportunistic about these things. It may be a new and/or theoretical notion that "trig spikes" can be a long-term problem, but I don't have a hard time buying it as a concept.

#7
raffi

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Aren't the trigs an issue because they build up in the arteries where damage occurs? Isn't that damage caused by blood sugar spikes?

#8
Evermont

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Aren't the trigs an issue because they build up in the arteries where damage occurs? Isn't that damage caused by blood sugar spikes?


That sounds familiar, and plausible. I don't pretend to more than anyone else about it. So BG causes damage, and the damage makes build-up more likely... and post meal spikes of serum trigs make the problem still worse. So maybe your likelihood of coronary events is increased by diabetes + trigs + trig spikes from high fat meals (without spiciness).

#9
diaboki

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[quote name='raffi']I like spices and add lots of garlic to most of my meals, but I'm wondering about the statement that "Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides". From what I'm reading and seeing, that is only true when coupled with high carbs. Most people I've heard from doing low carb and high fat are seeing very low levels of triglycerides. QUOTE]

Ditto here. Makes the entire article lose credibility for me.




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