Fatty acid binding proteins 4 and 5 in overweight prepubertal boys: Effect of nutritional counselling and supplementation with an encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate

Canas JA, Damaso L, Hossain J, Balagopal PB; Dec. 2015


The primary objective of this post hoc analysis was to determine the effect of overweight on fatty acid binding proteins (FABP4 and FABP5) and to investigate the effect of nutritional counselling and supplementation with a fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (FV) on FABP in both lean and overweight (OW) boys. 


The post hoc analysis was performed on a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Thirty-nine prepubescent boys (aged 6 to 10) were recruited to participate in the study. Thirty completed it; of these, 21 were overweight and 9 were lean. All the boys received a 1-hour nutritional counselling session at baseline, which was reinforced after 3 months. The boys were randomized to take either an encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (Juice Plus+®) or placebo for 6 months. Levels of FABP4 and FABP5, beta-carotene, and retinol were measured at baseline and at 6 months, along with various markers of inflammation and metabolic health, including adiposity.  


At the beginning of the study, the overweight boys had higher FABP4 and FABP5 levels than the lean boys. FABP were directly correlated with insulin resistance, abdominal fat mass, markers of inflammation, and beta-carotene levels. After 6 months of supplementation, FV with nutritional counseling reduced FABP4, but not FABP5. The overweight boys did not lose weight; however, the treatment did improve their body composition, significantly reducing abdominal fat mass. In addition, it improved insulin resistance and levels of beta-carotene.  


We report higher levels of both FABP4 and FABP5 in OW v. lean prepubertal boys and show a reduction in circulating FABP4 along with beneficial improvements in insulin sensitivity and abdominal adiposity in the children supplemented with the FV for a sustained period of 6 months.

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