KUNMING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The insoluble dietary fiber isolated from bamboo shoots is effective in preventing obesity and improving insulin sensitivity, according to a recent Chinese study.
Scientists from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences tested two representative bamboo shoot fibers by feeding them to high-fat diet-fed mice. The fibers helped to suppress body weight gain in the mice. It also improved their glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.
According to Zhang Ping, the leading researcher, bamboo shoot is a popular vegetable in China as it is nutritious and considered delicious.
"A lot of metabolic diseases are caused by people eating too much meat and an excessive intake of fat. Our study shows that when people have eaten a lot of meat, eating bamboo shoot can help them fight fat deposition, thus inhibiting weight gain and keeping islet function in the normal range," Zhang said.
Bamboo shoot fiber is a novel dietary fiber and can be used as an ingredient of functional foods for losing weight and improving insulin sensitivity, Zhang added.
The study was published in the Journal of Functional Foods.