Soy Hulls in Obesity Prevention

April 7/Rosario, Argentina/Food & Farm Week -- "The prevalence of obesity and its associated health problems is rising to epidemic proportions throughout the world. Soy hulls, an industrial waste from oil extraction, contain a high proportion of fiber -- soluble and insoluble -- and may be a potential ingredient of functional foods for the prevention of obesity," investigators in Rosario, Argentina, report.

"However, crude soybeans, as do all legumes, present challenges to their use because of intensive antitrypsin and antichimotrypsin activity that impairs normal growth in humans and other mammals, requiring inactivation. To evaluate possible antinutritional effects of soybean hulls, diets with 10% fiber from soybean hulls or cellulose were offered to weanling IIMb/Beta obese rats during their prepubertal timeframe," wrote M.C. Olguin and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "The fact that no significant differences were found in growth, blood parameters nor in fat depots' weight and lipid content plus the proven beneficial effects on obese adult rats suggest that soy hulls may be a useful ingredient of functional foods for the prevention and treatment of human obesity."

Olguin and colleagues published their study in Ecology of Food and Nutrition ("Evaluation of Soy Hulls as a Potential Ingredient of Functional Foods for the Prevention of Obesity." Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 2010;49(2):98-109).

For additional information, contact M.C. Olguin, University of Rosario, Fac Biochem, Dept. of Food & Environm Sci, Suipacha 531, RA-2000 Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.

From the April 12, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition