Dietary Stearic Acid Reduces Visceral Fat By 70% And Increases Lean Mass

haidut

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This is a study that @Travis will probably like a lot. Stearic acid is one of the SFA that are considered anti-inflammatory even by mainstream science. It has pronounced anti-tumor effects in various cancer models, and one of the proposed mechanisms was its ability to reduce fat deposits. The study below fed 17% stearic acid (with %3 safflower oil added to prevent EFA deficiency) to mice and found that this diet reduced visceral adiposity by more than 70% without any change in calories, total body weight, exercise, or the rest of the diet macronutrients. Moreover, this loss of fat was accompanied by increase in lean body mass.
Typically, loss of visceral fat and increase in lean mass is a signal of lower glucocorticoid signalling. This is further corroborated by drop in blood glucose in the stearic acid group. So, stearic acid must be lowering cortisol synthesis somehow and one possible explanation is the reduction of inflammation that this diet brings about. However, such significant reduction of visceral fat suggests that stearic acid probably also has a direct inhibitory effect on cortisol synthesis through as of yet unidentified mechanism. Maybe @Travis and @Koveras can dig it up!

Dietary stearic acid leads to a reduction of visceral adipose tissue in athymic nude mice. - PubMed - NCBI
"...Stearic acid (C18:0) is a long chain dietary saturated fatty acid that has been shown to reduce metastatic tumor burden. Based on preliminary observations and the growing evidence that visceral fat is related to metastasis and decreased survival, we hypothesized that dietary stearic acid may reduce visceral fat. Athymic nude mice, which are used in models of human breast cancer metastasis, were fed a stearic acid, linoleic acid (safflower oil), or oleic acid (corn oil) enriched diet or a low fat diet ad libitum. Total body weight did not differ significantly between dietary groups over the course of the experiment. However visceral fat was reduced by ∼70% in the stearic acid fed group compared to other diets. In contrast total body fat was only slightly reduced in the stearic acid diet fed mice when measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and quantitative magnetic resonance. Lean body mass was increased in the stearic acid fed group compared to all other groups by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Dietary stearic acid significantly reduced serum glucose compared to all other diets and increased monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) compared to the low fat control. The low fat control diet had increased serum leptin compared to all other diets. To investigate possible mechanisms whereby stearic acid reduced visceral fat we used 3T3L1 fibroblasts/preadipocytes. Stearic acid had no direct effects on the process of differentiation or on the viability of mature adipocytes. However, unlike oleic acid and linoleic acid, stearic acid caused increased apoptosis (programmed cell death) and cytotoxicity in preadipocytes. The apoptosis was, at least in part, due to increased caspase-3 activity and was associated with decreased cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-2 (cIAP2) and increased Bax gene expression. In conclusion, dietary stearic acid leads to dramatically reduced visceral fat likely by causing the apoptosis of preadipocytes."

"...Serum glucose was decreased in the stearic acid diet group compared to other diets while serum insulin and adiponectin levels did not change significantly, which is not definitive but certainly consistent with improved insulin sensitivity. Serum leptin was decreased in the dietary stearic acid group. Leptin is released from adipocytes and suppresses appetite via receptors in the hypothalamus. It is possible that the observed increased food intake in the dietary stearic acid group may be due to decreased leptin. It should also be noted that increased leptin has been associated with obesity as well as promoting breast cancer growth and increasing angiogenesis [the formation of new blood vessels] [25]. Thus the decreases in leptin and glucose may be beneficial effects especially when combined with no difference in overall body weight and insulin, reduced VAT and increased total body lean mass were seen in mice on the stearic acid diet. Nevertheless, these results are not definitive but rather provide rationale for a more in depth study.
 
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Evgenius

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And still people freak out when they see magnesium stearate in their supplements :neutral:
 

grenade

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Cool finding. One thought I always have with these studies that show the benefits of SFA consumption is whether or not these things are achievable through diet alone. The only thing I can think of, in the case of stearic acid, is eating a good amount of cocoa butter.
 

raypeatclips

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Cool finding. One thought I always have with these studies that show the benefits of SFA consumption is whether or not these things are achievable through diet alone. The only thing I can think of, in the case of stearic acid, is eating a good amount of cocoa butter.

I was just thinking this too, @haidut or @Travis, do you know this study can be used for real life applications? How much stearic acid would a human need to consume?
 

Tarmander

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And still people freak out when they see magnesium stearate in their supplements :neutral:

Do you actually think you can absorb that magnesium and stearic acid? There is no evidence that you can break that chemical bond from my research. It appears to work like mineral oil and have a laxative effect if you ingest too much.
 
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haidut

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Cool finding. One thought I always have with these studies that show the benefits of SFA consumption is whether or not these things are achievable through diet alone. The only thing I can think of, in the case of stearic acid, is eating a good amount of cocoa butter.

Beef, lamb, butter, and dairy all have decent amount of stearic acid. The study used stearic acid but I think any other saturated fat will do, given the other studies on palmitic, caprylic, and even myristic acid inhibiting cortisol synthesis. The key thing to note is that the diet also had 3% PUFA and the overall fat in the diet was 20%. So, 17% / 20% = 85% of the dietary fat was saturated. Thus, the plausible conclusion would be that eating a diet in which 85% of the fat is saturated can lead to loss of fat, not that just adding 17% SFA (or even pure stearic acid) to any diet would have these benefits.
 

haidut

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I was just thinking this too, @haidut or @Travis, do you know this study can be used for real life applications? How much stearic acid would a human need to consume?

See my answer to grenade above. Let's see what Travis has to say as well.
 

Evgenius

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Do you actually think you can absorb that magnesium and stearic acid? There is no evidence that you can break that chemical bond from my research. It appears to work like mineral oil and have a laxative effect if you ingest too much.

I think it is not harmful in any way.
 

nbznj

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I find it difficult to go below 15% fat since I need quite a lot of calories to sustain my lifting habits, however I'm making this fat as saturated as possible while not getting too crazy if I get some PUFAs every week or so (I like my chicken wings based cheat day). Mostly getting it from kefir, cocoa, eggs. So far this has been my biggest Peat-related change and it feels awesome. I remember how my scalp itchiness was getting out of control, blaming the low vitamin D high stress environment... fixing the diet (good fats, good simple sugars) has been a very good first step.

Anyways the point is, keeping fats between 10 and 20% nearly all SFA / no PUFA seems to be a great first step for anyone interested in fixing their health
 

Travis

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Stearic acid is the one fatty acid consistently found protective against cancer, but they had compared this against two very high‐linoleate oils. Since the hormonal effects of the linoleic acid ⟶ arachindonic acid ⟶ prostaglandin cascade are undeniable, you're forced to separate the effects of stearic acid from the general adipose‐promoting effects of prostaglandin E₂. Although stearic acid has special effects that palmitic acid doesn't have due to its length, discerning the effects of stearic acid by itself might be easier when comparing it against either a palmitic or oleic acid diet—or perhaps even a carbohydrate diet although you'd probably have pancreatic insulin effects to deal with. It would be interesting to see if a stearic acid diet differs from an olive oil diet—an olive oil brand with a low linoleic acid content*—because some stearic acid is converted to oleic acid in the liver by Δ⁹‐desaturase. I also think it would be interesting to examine how it compares to arachic acid (20:0), a fully‐saturated fatty acid two carbons longer.

I'm tempted to see this as an experiment revealing the antimetabolic effects of linoleic acid, and might start to consider the pro‐cortisol effect of prostaglandin E₂—if there is one. These lipid experiments are relative, and transposing 'experimental' and 'control' groups shifts the focus back to arachidonic acid. The ω−6/SFA ratio could perhaps be seen as two sides of the same coin, and some of the protective effects of stearic acid could just be consequent of its ability to displace arachidonic acid in the cell membrane—and from the refrigerator (you can only eat so much). But this could also be due to the stabilization of the cell membrane as it has been shown to do (as has cholesterol). There are some older studies showing that membrane fluidity promotes mitosis and proliferation, and simply having a membrane stabilizer which acts to increase rigidity could be important—especially one that cannot turn into a dangerous hormone later on. Prostaglandin E₂ has membrane receptors and prostaglandin J₂ activates PPARγ.

[*] Olive oil varies in its linoleic acid content. There is some difference between the olives themselves, but olive oil is also very commonly diluted with other oils—due to its relatively high value (see below).

Sally Errico. "Olive Oil's Dark Side." The New Yorker (2012)
Tom Mueller. "Slippery Business." The New Yorker (2007)
 
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haidut

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and simply having a membrane stabilizer which acts to increase rigidity could be important

One word - adamantane. It is probably the most effective, semi-natural membrane stabilizer. It is not that much different from SFA anyways. I think the beneficial effects of camphor, which is structurally very similar to adamantane, are also due to its membrane-stabilizing effects. The anti-viral effects of adamantane derivatives have been shown to be due mostly to improvement of membrane stability and reductions of its permeability to viral particles. There is an older study from he 1960s which I am trying to find and post here, showing that adamantane changes the membrane phospholipid composition, increasing the ratio of SFA/PUFA.
 

grenade

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Beef, lamb, butter, and dairy all have decent amount of stearic acid. The study used stearic acid but I think any other saturated fat will do, given the other studies on palmitic, caprylic, and even myristic acid inhibiting cortisol synthesis. The key thing to note is that the diet also had 3% PUFA and the overall fat in the diet was 20%. So, 17% / 20% = 85% of the dietary fat was saturated. Thus, the plausible conclusion would be that eating a diet in which 85% of the fat is saturated can lead to loss of fat, not that just adding 17% SFA (or even pure stearic acid) to any diet would have these benefits.

Basing one’s fat intake off of beef/lamb/cocoa/dairy fat, and using a something like fully hydrogenated coconut oil to increase the ratio of SFA to PUFA, seems to be the most practical way to achieve this.
 

Travis

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I read the study, and had realized that they actually did have a low‐fat control group in a addition to the three high‐fat diets of varying composition. The change is body mass noted with the stearic acid was expressed in respect to the low‐fat group:

'The percentage of total body fat decreased 25%, while the percentage of total body lean mass increased 4% in the stearic acid diet group compared to the low fat mice when measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.' ―Ming-Che Shen

They had only measured only one cytokine, interleukin‐6, and this didn't vary. The measured blood parameter which had varied the most was serum glucose, which was found decreased in the stearic acid group—despite them having eaten more than any other group.

'Serum glucose was decreased in the stearic acid diet group compared to other diets while serum insulin and adiponectin levels did not change significantly, which is not definitive but certainly consistent with improved insulin sensitivity.' ―Ming-Che Shen

They also had performed a cell study, and had predictably found less proliferation with stearic acid compared to other oils. Also notable was that they spoke of their other studies showing stearic acid to reduce the tumor burden in rats. They speak of stearic acid quite realistically as being the only cancer-inhibiting fatty acid.

'Stearic acid (C18:0) is a long chain dietary saturated fatty acid that has been shown to reduce metastatic tumor burden. [...] In terms of stearic acid and breast cancer, cell culture and animal studies indicate a beneficial inhibitory effect of stearic acid on breast cancer cell growth, tumor growth, carcinogenesis and metastasis.' ―Ming-Che Shen

But this study had one caveat, something that cannot be ignored. Stearic acid was the only free fatty acid fed, as such; every other fatty acid was given as the triglyceride ester:

'Limitations of this study are that the corn oil and safflower oil diets contained fatty acids largely in the form of triglycerides while the stearic acid diet used non-esterified stearic acid.' ―Ming-Che Shen
 

haidut

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Also notable was that they spoke of their other studies showing stearic acid to reduce the tumor burden in rats

I think those studies are in the DeFibron thread. I added them when we were launching that product and as far as I can remember they also used 17% stearic acid + 3% safflower oil. Caprylic acid also has some pretty impressive studies behind it, as does palmitic acid (especially for liver cancer).
There is a Russian study from the 1980s showing that stearic acid was the most potent uncoupler of a few SFA tested. So, maybe that could explain the fat loss compared even to a low-fat group??
 

Travis

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aguilaroja

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This is a study that @Travis will probably like a lot. Stearic acid is one of the SFA that are considered anti-inflammatory even by mainstream science. It has pronounced anti-tumor effects in various cancer models, and one of the proposed mechanisms was its ability to reduce fat deposits. The study below fed 17% stearic acid (with %3 safflower oil added to prevent EFA deficiency) to mice and found that this diet reduced visceral adiposity by more than 70% without any change in calories, total body weight, exercise, or the rest of the diet macronutrients...
Typically, loss of visceral fat and increase in lean mass is a signal of lower glucocorticoid signalling. This is further corroborated by drop in blood glucose in the stearic acid group. So, stearic acid must be lowering cortisol synthesis somehow and one possible explanation is the reduction of inflammation that this diet brings about.

Dietary stearic acid leads to a reduction of visceral adipose tissue in athymic nude mice. - PubMed - NCBI
....Thus the decreases in leptin and glucose may be beneficial effects especially when combined with no difference in overall body weight and insulin, reduced VAT and increased total body lean mass were seen in mice on the stearic acid diet. Nevertheless, these results are not definitive but rather provide rationale for a more in depth study.

This research concerns stearic acid beneficial effects for a Parkinson’s disease model in fruit flies. But the findings of improved mitochondrial function with lower free fatty acids sound like a familiar theme.

Stearic acid supplementation in high protein to carbohydrate (P:C) ratio diet improves physiological and mitochondrial functions of Drosophila mela... - PubMed - NCBI

“Here we incorporate stearic acid into high protein and high carbohydrate diets and study survival, climbing ability, mitochondrial membrane potential, respiration, basal reactive oxygen species and conduct lipidomics assays. We observed parkin null flies showed improvement in all assays tested when stearic acid was added to high protein but not to the high carbohydrate diet. When lipid proportion was examined we observed higher levels in flies fed the high protein diet with stearic acid and the high carbohydrate diet. Unexpectedly, free levels of fatty acids exhibited opposite trend. Combined, these data suggest that dietary Protein: Carbohydrate ratio and stearic acid influences levels of bound fatty acids. The mechanisms that influence free and bound fatty-acid levels remain to be explored, but one possible explanation is that breakdown products can bind to membranes and improve the mitochondrial functions of parkin null flies.”
 

Broken man

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I am not sure but I think that one member tried to lose weight with coconut oil and it didnt worked.
 
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