Research Roundup: April 2012

  • Calories still account for the most fat gain. Researchers found that people who ate high-calorie diets all gained a similar amount of fat, regardless of the levels of protein they consumed. Study participants divided into three groups ate an extra 1,000 calories of either a low, normal, or high percentage of protein for eight weeks. Though body fat increased similarly in all three groups, the low-protein group had a lower weight gain because they did not have the increase in body protein that the normal and high protein groups had.
    (Journal of the American Medical Association, online January 3, 2012)

  • Caffeine plus carbohydrate boosts sports performance. UK scientists investigated the effects of the simultaneous consumption of carbohydrates and caffeine on athletic performance. When soccer players ingested a drink with carbohydrates (6.4 percent) plus caffeine (160 milligrams) during a sports simulation, the athletes sustained higher work intensity and improved performance compared with a carbohydrate drink alone or a placebo.
    (British Journal of Sports Medicine, December 2011)

  • Calcium and vitamin D may cut belly fat. In two, 16-week parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, 171 overweight and obese people were given three glasses (8 ounces) of either regular or reduced-calorie orange juice per day. The test groups’ orange juice drinks were fortified with 350 milligrams of calcium and 100 International Units of vitamin D, while the control groups’ drinks were not fortified nor reduced-calorie. The fortified regular and reduced-calorie juice groups showed significant reduction in visceral adipose tissue (belly fat) compared with the control group.
    (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 14, 2011)
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