Press Release

Inhibitory Effects on Accumulation of Fat in the Liver, by Highly Branched Glucan, a New Functional Carbohydrate Material, were Confirmed - New Hope for Global Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome -

2013/03/05research

HAYASHIBARA CO., LTD.

Hayashibara Co., Ltd. (headquarters in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture; President: Reiji Nagase) announced that highly branched glucan, a new functional carbohydrate material which is produced from starch by the use of proprietary enzymes, had an inhibitory effect on accumulation of fat in the liver and suppressed postprandial hypertriglyceridemia. Highly branched glucan is characterized by its unique structure with multiple branching compared to starch, and expected to be used for a wide range of food products. In addition, Hayashibara schedules to present the results of this research at the Annual Meeting of Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry 2013 (March 24 - 28, at Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture). (The term for "Highly Branched Glucan" was consolidated into "Highly Branched ??-Glucan" from July, 2013.)

Please direct any inquiries about this research or our business to: (c/o) Watanabe, Research and Development Division, Hayashibara Co., Ltd.
E-mail:treasure-chest01@hb.nagase.co.jp

- What is highly branched glucan? It is a polysaccharide that can be produced from starch by the action of enzymes which were originally developed by Hayashibara. Unlike starch, it is highly soluble in water. In addition, it has no starchy smell like dextrin. Furthermore, because it has no sweetness in itself, its application to various foods and beverages is expected. Highly branched glucan, as its name suggests, has a structure with many more branches than starch which is a raw material, and the structure itself is very unique. With multiple branching, it is indigestible and it mildly raises the levels of blood glucose and insulin.

- Objective of research
Recently, our diet has diversified more than ever, and an increase in the number of people suffering from metabolic syndrome, caused by excessive intake of lipids, has particularly become a major problem. A balanced diet and moderate exercise are known to be effective for preventing metabolic syndrome (a combination of hypertension, hyperglycemia, and hypertriglyceridemia, in addition to the accumulation of visceral fat). Highly branched glucan is a polysaccharide produced from starch as a raw material; it is a carbohydrate that dissolves readily in water and it can be used in various food products. It is indigestible and it mildly raises the levels of blood glucose and insulin. Therefore, we assumed that it may prevent metabolic syndrome as our daily food. To study the onset and prevention of metabolic syndrome in humans, a mouse model which is called the ?gdiet-induced obesity model?h to examine the impact of the foods is frequently used. It involves putting mice on a high-fat diet to make them obese. We have recently used this model to examine the effect of highly branched glucan on preventing metabolic syndrome.

- Conclusion
Highly branched glucan showed inhibitory effects against dyslipidemia (accumulation of fat in the liver or postprandial hypertriglyceridemia) in mice, which is the cause of metabolic syndrome.

- Future possibilities
Taking advantage of the findings in this study, we will clarify the mechanism of its inhibitory effects against dyslipidemia and proceed to address the efficacy in humans. We, Hayashibara, will explore possibilities of application of highly branched glucan to food products which are effective for preventing metabolic syndrome through further studies.

Reference data
- Test method
Experiment 1 — Seven-week-old mice were divided into three groups: Group A, a normal diet + water; Group B, a high-fat diet + water; and Group C, a high-fat diet + 2% highly branched glucan-containing water. After feeding them for 8 weeks, the liver and plasma analysis were performed.
Experiment 2 —Seven-week-old mice were divided into the same groups as Experiment 1 and fed them for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, olive oil was orally administered and a loading test to measure plasma triglycerides (TG) before and after the administration was conducted.

- Results
Experiment 1 — Eight weeks after initiation, the weight and TG contents of the liver and plasma TG levels were assessed. Mice in Group B, which had been fed a high-fat diet, showed an increase in liver weight and TG contents compared with Group A, which had been fed a normal diet.
On the other hand, mice in Group C, which had ingested highly branched glucan in their drinking water, showed a significant 30-40% reduction in the levels of both parameters observed in Group B. In addition, after overnight fasting, mice in Group B, which had been fed a high-fat diet, showed increased levels of plasma TG and insulin compared with mice in Group A, which had been fed a normal diet. However, in Group C, ingestion of highly branched glucan in water, resulted in a significant 40-50% reduction in the levels of both parameters observed in Group B. These results indicates that the accumulation of fat in the liver, caused by a high-fat diet, was inhibited by ingesting highly branched glucan.
Experiment 2 —Mice in Group B, which had been fed a high-fat diet, had more than double plasma TG levels after two hours olive oil administration compared with mice in Group A, which had been fed a normal diet. On the other hand, in mice administered highly branched glucan in their drinking water (Group C), this increase in TG had been significantly reduced to approximately 40%, and the levels were comparable with those in Group A. These results show that the intake of highly branched glucan inhibited postprandial hypertriglyceridemia due to dyslipidemia.

highly branched glucan

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