, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 201-208

First online:

Pilot study for an age- and gender-based nutrient signaling system for weight control

  • Alfred B. OrdmanAffiliated withBiochemistry Program, Beloit College Email author 

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Nutrient signaling has recently shown how nutraceuticals regulate specific functions of the brain and adipose tissue. In this pilot study to find an effective nutrient signaling system to cause weight loss, a double-blind placebo-controlled trial using leucine, olive oil, and fish oil was conducted on volunteers to signal metabolic and appetite effects to regulate body weight, while controls took only fiber. Men and women aged 18–26 and 39–62 years were given different dosages that they took orally twice daily for 14 days while recording body weight, followed by 2 weeks to check rebound. Most young men and women lost weight on low dose leucine and olive oil. Mature men required higher doses. Mature women’s weight was affected least, though results are consistent with a hypothesis that sufficient leucine and docosahexaenoic acid would be effective. Determining how age affects signaling pathways by nutrients will be important to reduce risk of chronic disease associated with age and obesity. This pilot study has led to hypotheses of practical strategies.


Leucine Fish oil Oleic acid Branched chain amino acids Docosahexaenoic acid DHA Olive oil mTOR Obesity Weight loss