There is so much hype about weight loss supplements. And most of the time, that’s ALL it is — hype. As I reported back in 2015 in my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, most so-called weight-loss supplements fall short, according to the science.
But some new research has revealed a very interesting exception to this general “rule.” A study from Lund University in Sweden shows rose hips can help you shed unwanted weight — from your hips and elsewhere.
Of course, you may be giving or getting roses today for Valentine’s Day. But if you look a little lower on the wild rose, you will find a real treasure that lasts long after the bloom.
Rose hips increase fat conversion
For this new study, researchers fed lab mice a high-fat, caloric-dense diet with or without supplemental rose hip powder for three months. (This time period is equivalent to a few years in human terms.) The dose of rose hips was 30 percent of the total weight of the diet.
The two groups ate the same quantity of food. However, the group given rose hips showed no gain in body weight compared to the control group. Plus, the rose hips group had lower blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels. The rose hips group also had a significantly higher metabolic rate and energy expenditure.
The researchers believe the rose hips group fared so much better because of the ingredient’s direct effects on the two types of fat in the body — “white fat” and “brown fat.”
These different types of body fat are more distinctive in mammals that hibernate during winter. And we haven’t known much about the differences between white and brown fat in humans until recently. Indeed, for decades, scientists looked for clues about how the two types of body fat behave differently in humans.
We do know that white fat metabolically stores triglyceride molecules. It also releases fatty acids and bioactive molecules called “adipocytokines” when mobilized. The word adipocytokines comes from the Greek, kinesis, which implies its role in literally moving fat around in the body.
Brown fat can also disperse energy, or calories, in the form of heat. The generation of heat, called thermogenesis, is a very effective way of expending energy and literally “burning” calories and body fat.
In addition, scientists now know that human brown fat cells can confer some of their metabolic properties onto white fat cells. This mechanism increases the fat-burning properties of white fat cells. This “browning” of white fat is called “brite,” for “brown into white” fat cells.
There is great interest in inducing the conversion of white fat to brown so the body can burn more fat, rather than store it. This conversion could help with obesity, Type II diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Rose hips brown white fat
The scientists in the new study believe the rose hips group performed so well because rose hips prompted the conversion of white into brown fat. Indeed, genetic analysis revealed that the rose hips group showed increased expression of biomarkers for “brite.”
The Swedish researchers also noted that rose hips supplements appeared to increase energy expenditure, which is a key component of weight management. Rose hips also appeared to decrease intestinal energy absorption during digestion. Overall, they concluded that rose hips exert anti-obesity effects on both energy expenditure and energy intake.
Rose hips’ “brite” future as a healthy weight loss aid
Translating these dramatic results to humans requires more work, especially in light of the relatively large dose and long duration of treatment used in the lab study. But clinical studies in humans also show rose hips can take inches off your waist (and hips) over a shorter period of time, and at a smaller dose than given in this lab study.
The effective dose appears to be 1,000 mg (or one gram) per day. This amount essentially borders on a food quantity.
Overall, when it comes to converting “brown to white” fat cell metabolism, rose hips has a “brite” future for your healthy weight management.
- “Rose hip supplementation increases energy expenditure and induces browning of white adipose tissue,” Nutrition & Metabolism 2016; 13:91