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Study: Nutrition bar developed by research team improves health

OAKLAND, Calif. — Scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute’s Nutrition and Metabolism Center have developed a low-calorie, fruit-based high-fiber vitamin and mineral nutrition bar called the CHORI-bar that improves biological indicators — the bar increased HDL cholesterol and glutathione but lowered homocysteine — linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and associated decline in antioxidant defenses, the group reported Wednesday.

The CHORI-bar is intended to help restore optimal nutritional balance in people eating poor diets and to help transition them to healthier eating habits. The bar is satiating and at only approximately 110 calories per bar, may be helpful in weight reduction programs, according to the hosptial.

The first research report on the CHORI-bar will appear in the August 2012 Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The FASEB Journal report describes the prototype bar and presents results of a 2-week trial in 25 generally healthy adults led by CHORI-bar team member and pediatric cardiologist Michele Mietus-Snyder. The participants varied in ages and body mass index and ate two bars each day for two weeks.

Favorable metabolic changes occurred after two weeks of bar intake, without guidelines as to whether to use the bar as a meal replacement or a supplement.

Current research is continuing on several fronts, the group reported. Two additional bars have been developed that expand the number of biomarkers improved by the bar to include measures of insulin resistance, inflammation and additional elements of lipid metabolism, notably LDL cholesterol. Efforts are under way to combine attributes of all three bars in a single bar, the group noted.

A series of clinical trials have also been initiated that test the efficacy of the CHORI-bar in improving metabolism in individuals with diseases accompanied by metabolic dysregulation favorably impacted by the bar, including obesity, asthma and hypertension. And finally, development of additional biomarker assays is underway to expand the classes of metabolic changes that can be detected, such as several different types of DNA damage.

 


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