Magic molecules? Of course not.
Although .... in THIS STUDY the guys at the Harvard School of Public Health assessed the dietary patterns of over 124,000 men and women for up to 24 years.
They wanted to know A) what they were eating, and B) if those who were better able to control their weight tended to eat certain things more than others.
What they found?
People who ate more antioxidant flavonoids were more likely to maintain their weight over the long haul.
After controlling for every lifestyle variable on planet Earth, this class of molecule was most associated with keeping your weight in check. Magic!!
The image on the left is from the paper. Check out the top of the chart, which shows how much of the magic flavonoid molecules they were eating, and where they came from.
First of all, there are no magic molecules, and this study is only a correlation. So it doesn't prove anything. That said, it is strongly suggestive, especially given the quality of the study and the huge number of people (greater than 124k).
Moreover, it's not hard to imagine that the foods eaten can contribute to weight control. If you review them, they're basically a list of all the usual suspects: fruits, veg, tea, red wine. Heck, even beer is included.
But secondly, where's my dark chocolate? Or even just cocoa? Did they not count it? Why are they excluding the food with the highest concentration of antioxidant flavonoids of them all??
Check this chart:
Food Catechin flavonoids (mg/100g) ... Epicatechin flavonoids (mg/100g)
Dark Chocolate 12.0 ... 41.5
Red Table Wine 7.0 ... 3.3
Brewed Black Tea 1.5 ... 2.1
Apples 0.9 ... 6.1
Why the exclusion?
I'm not sure why they did not allow dark chocolate and cocoa into their little club of healthy flavonoid foods. It may be that the idea that these two can be associated with weight loss is just too much to accept right now.
In any case, until this all gets cleared up (in the year 2094), I think it's a safe bet that consuming food high in flavonoid antioxidants is going to be great for you, and may even help you control your weight!! Oh, and the wine/chocolate don't hurt either.
Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.