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A nature-based approach to inhibit hydrolysis of triglycerides by pancreatic lipase and reduce bioavailability and absorption of fat using nanocellulose

Harvard researchers report the development and assessment, using in vitro and in vivo models, of a nature-based, nano-scale cellulose material that can be used in food to substantially reduce the bioavailability and absorption of ingested fat, by interfering with the activity of pancreatic lipase. In the small intestinal phase of an acellular simulated digestion of high-fat food model (heavy cream) the release of free fatty acids from triglycerides (TG) was reduced by up to 50% by nanocellulose, as quantified either by pH stat titration during digestion, or by quantitative florometric assay of free fatty acids (FFA) in the final digesta. Likewise, translocation of TG and FFA from digesta across an in vitro transwell triculture model of the small intestinal epithelium was significantly reduced by the addition of nanocellulose (NC) to the heavy cream. Serum TG in rats gavaged with heavy cream were also reduced by 30% one hour post gavage when NC was included with the cream.  These findings suggest a potential use for NC to reduce absorption of ingested fat. Thus supplementing food with NC, or use of NC as a stand-alone supplement taken with meals, might provide a safe and effective adjunct to lifestyle changes and existing pharmacologic interventions to reduce fat absorption and achieve weight loss.

These findings suggest a potential use for NC to reduce absorption of ingested fat. Thus supplementing food with NC, or use of NC as a stand-alone supplement taken with meals, might provide a safe and effective adjunct to lifestyle changes and existing pharmacologic interventions to reduce fat absorption and achieve weight loss.

For food industries who  need to create functional foods with the ability to modulate unwanted substances such as fat without using chemical inhibitors, our nanocellulose platform  can enable  fat digestion modulation from food products such as ice creams, dairy products and other “fatty” meals.    Unlike chemical inhibitors used to block lipases and reduce fat absorption   and bioavailability with serious drawbacks (ie. Greasy stools etc)   the proposed nano platform is nature based and uses only fibers made out of wood.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending

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