The doctor, researcher and academic in Nutrition of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Diego Garcia, spoke with Ciudadano ADN about the properties of calafate and the research that the doctor supports in this regard.
“We have been working with this for 10 years now, and we work on it because it is a native fruit of our south, the Patagonia of Chile, it grows in extreme conditions, which makes it concentrate compounds in its fruit, in its skin and even in its leaves, such as antioxidants, to prevent damage by external agents ”, stated García.
To the above, García added that “it just so happens that if these compounds, which contain a high antioxidant concentration, are consumed by people, It has been described that they can help and complement our general health quite a bit.”.
Based on the above, the researcher related how the investigation of the southern fruit began: “We started looking for how to work on something that had this national, original and local accent, and we arrived at the calafate and we also focused on in one of the most important diseases that afflicts us lately and that is closely related to the pandemic that we are experiencing, what is the obesity”.
“That’s where our research shots began to try to find if there was any link between the potential consumption of the fruit and the prevention of the development of obesity and its associated diseases ”, added the academic.
El calafate and obesity
Regarding how the fruit and obesity are intertwined, García stated that: “We were focused on trying to find something that would prevent the bridge between obesity and other diseases. We know that obesity leads to diabetes for example, or some types of cancer or cardiovascular diseaser, within these paths there are processes in our body that gradually generate these diseases, such as oxidative stress processes and also inflammatory processes ”, he explained.
To the above, the doctor continued: “Knowing that we had a fruit rich in antioxidants, we went to see if I could prevent, or break this communication. So we tested in models, all in laboratories, in cells, in controlled live models, and we saw that it could prevent the development of inflammation associated with obesity and prevent the development of insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. ”.
“The interesting thing about all this is that we realized that It prevented, to a certain degree, the development of obesity, that is, between 20% and 30% less fat accumulation, which is the definition of obesity ”, added García.
As for why caulk would help obesity, the researcher argued that “humans have adipose tissue, that is, accumulated fat, which is useful for us. Our fatty tissue is our reserve, it allows us to get energy and accumulate it to our needs. In addition to this white adipose tissue, which is the most common, there is another type, brown adipose tissue, which we have on the nape, or around the vertebrae, which occurs in small amounts in adults and that the energy it accumulates , ends up dissipating in the form of heat, and the thanks that this tissue is present and more active in non-obese or non-diabetic people ”.
It is together with these fats that in the model developed by García, it was evidenced that caulk could help prevent the generation of fats and therefore obesity.
Calafate as a complement
Still without completing the investigation, García maintained that It seeks to establish calafate as a food supplement within a context of healthy and healthy life, with exercise, which means that “it is not to think that I have everything I allow as long as I have a handful of caulk next to it, it is not like that. It serves as a complement to everything that surrounds healthy life ”.
Regarding the idea that the caulk rises as a complement, the researcher added an example: “We hope, for example that when an overweight person goes to their control with a nutritionist or nutritionist, health workers are available to indicate this solution exists, which may be what we will arrive at with the investigation, which may be the consumption of x grams per day. “
In the same way, García stressed that “The important thing about the research is that it is local, from a native fruit, from Aysén and Magallanes“, So to continue with the investigation” we are going to benefit everyone, from the time he collects to the one who makes products based on caulk. “
As for the problems or “headaches” as stated by the doctor, these have been based on download the information to make it tangible: “We have so much information that we have to lower it to something concrete, that has always been our stop point, we have to work with other researchers, that have other experts like food engineering or chemistry, to help us in this regard. “
“What we are fine-tuning now is the dose, to achieve a medium and short-term effect.“Said the academic from the University of Chile, without first adding that” having so many antioxidant compounds, it makes them not so pleasant to consume, so we have to find a way to make it attractive. “
García pointed out that within the investigation there are two fronts, one referring to laboratory studies, that is, science, in which permission is being sought to begin human trials, to rule out all kinds of side effects. And the second, referring to an investigation carried out by a doctor from her team, which focuses on finding the specific dose of the fruit.
Finally, the researcher Diego García stated that with this research “we believe that we can come up with something tangible, which makes us happy “.