Examples of Food Synergy

Previews with had talked about principle Understanding Food and Food–Drug Synergy. Now we're talking some Examples of Food Synergy. While the mechanisms involved with each food synergy are not sometimes known, it is possible that foods or food componentsmay act by similar or complementary mechanisms. They may also haveopposing mechanisms, which may negate an undesirable effect of one ormore foods or food components.

Examples of food and/or food components working together to achieve an additive or synergistic effect include those in the:

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, characterized by high intakes of fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, in combination with a low sodium diet; results in significant lowering of blood pressure; 
Portfolio diet, containing plant sterols, viscous fibers, and soy protein; demonstrates reductions in serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol similar to traditional statin drugs; 
Mediterranean diet, consisting of a high intake of legumes, grains, fruit, and vegetables, moderate alcohol intake, low to moderate consumption of meats and dairy products, and the use of olive oil for salad dressings and cooking; has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Other examples abound. The combination of garlic and fish oil has been shown to be beneficial at improving blood lipid profile to a greater extent than garlic or fish oil alone. Garlic attenuates the elevation of LDL cholesterol that occurs with fish oil intervention. With respect to weight loss, consumption of dairy products results in a greater weight reduction than taking calcium alone. This finding suggests that despite the positive effect of calcium on weight loss, additional components in dairy products act synergistically to induce weight loss. Food synergy has been demonstrated with respect to osteoporosis in an animal model. 

Calcium, in combination with soy isoflavones, preserves bone mineral density to a greater extent than either component alone in ovariectomized rodents. In a murine model of lupus, food restriction in combination with fish oil results in increased life span compared to food restriction or fish oil alone, and in another animal modelof inflammation, a diet low in arachidonic acid in combination with fish oil attenuates rheumatoid arthritis.

There are also examples of foods or food components interacting such that a negative effect of a food or food component is attenuated by providing multiple foods, as occurs in vivo . Using an athymic mouse model, flaxseed has been shown to attenuate the late-stage mammary tumor–promoting activity of soy. Similarly, lignans derived from flaxseed have been shown to attenuate the late-stage mammary tumor–promoting activity of genistein, which is abundant in soy.


by Umaee
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