Clinical studies show 'CHORI-bar' results in broad scale health improvements

April 22, 2015

A fruit-based micronutrient and fiber-dense supplement bar (the "CHORI-bar") conceived by Drs. Bruce Ames and Mark K. Shigenaga at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), was shown in clinical trials to improve metabolism in overweight/obese (OW/OB) otherwise healthy adults in ways that are consistent with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consumption of the bar for two months also reduced chronic inflammation, and initiated a reduction in weight and waist circumference. Decreased inflammation and improved weight and weight distribution can lower the risk of many chronic diseases.

These effects occurred without requiring that participants make any change in their current diet or other lifestyle practices other than to eat two CHORI-bars each day for two months. The CHORI-bar is not just another nutrition bar. It is a serious intervention to improve health. Its composition is therefore complex, and required a number of years and a series of clinical trials to develop.

The publication describing this work appeared online today (April 22, 2015)1 at The FASEB Journal. The bar was developed over the past 10 years by a team of scientists led by Drs. Bruce N. Ames and Joyce C. McCann at CHORI (2,3), in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Most people do not eat an optimally nutritious diet - particularly the obese. This results in unhealthy metabolism, which not only diminishes vigor, but increases future risk of many diseases. While poor diets contain much that is not healthy (e.g., too much salt, sugar), they also are missing or deficient in a number of important components (e.g., vitamins/minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber) necessary for healthy metabolism. The CHORI-bar is intended to fill these gaps with components present in the bar in normal dietary amounts.

Considerable evidence in the scientific literature, including Drs. Ames and McCann's work on vitamins and minerals, supports the idea that simply supplying missing or deficient dietary ingredients will improve metabolism (4-7). Development of the CHORI-bar has also been guided by Dr. Mark Shigenaga's insights into the importance of a healthy gut supported by optimal nutrition for disease prevention.

Because of the strong flavors associated with some vitamins and minerals, CHORI partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture to produce a tasty bar. Formulation development was guided by over 15 small clinical trials to ensure that beneficial properties of the bar were retained. Most early trials were two weeks in length and involved primarily lean individuals, most of whom benefited by increased HDL cholesterol. Results presented in this publication are compiled from 3 two-month that also included a significant number of overweight/obese individuals. These trials were conducted over a 4-year period using very similar bar formulations. These trials employed a simple, economical design in which participants acted as their own controls (i.e., change in metabolic markers was measured before and after eating the bar).

Healthy metabolism is like a complex, smooth-running machine. Unhealthy metabolism is like an old machine with many rusted out joints. There is no magic bullet ingredient in nutrition - "oiling" one joint is not going to allow the rusted out machine to run. The CHORI-team thinks the broad scale improvements observed with the CHORI-bar may be the result of "oiling" multiple joints by the complex nutrient mixture. They are currently conducting experiments to better understand which ingredients in the bar are most important in the complex mixture for the observed effects.

The increasing prevalence of obesity is taking a huge toll on public health. Conventional approaches that encourage weight loss by improving dietary habits, reducing caloric intake and modifying activity can be successful, but prove difficult for many to initiate and sustain. The CHORI-bar is intended as a non-traditional means to positively impact the obesity epidemic by initiating a healthier metabolism without requiring sudden drastic behavioral changes. It may therefore assist in weight loss programs by beginning a process of favorable metabolic change. Improved metabolism resulting from eating the bar is also associated with a number of reports of feeling better (though this observation has not yet been formally tested), which the CHORI team predicts will help people transition to improved lifestyle habits.

The power of nutrient-rich, properly formulated food-based supplements, such as the CHORI-bar, to move dysregulated metabolism in a healthy direction may help reverse obesity-associated conditions, and thereby reduce the risk of future . The full potential of food-based supplements to do the work of some drugs without their negative side effects is just beginning to be seriously investigated.

Explore further: French hospital plans wine bar to cheer patients' last days

More information: References:

1 McCann, J. C., Shigenaga, M. K., Mietus-Snyder, M. L., Lal, A., Suh, J. H., Krauss, R. M., Gildengorin, G. L., Goldrich, A. M., Block, D. S., Shenvi, S. V., McHugh, T. H., Olson, D. A., and Ames, B. N. (2015) A multi-component nutrient bar promotes weight loss and improves dyslipidemia and insulin resistance in the overweight/obese: Chronic inflammation blunts these improvements. The FASEB Journal, in press (March, 2015).

2 Mietus-Snyder, M. L., Shigenaga, M. K., Suh, J. H., Shenvi, S. V., Lal, A., McHugh, T., Olson, D., Lilienstein, J., Krauss, R. M., Gildengoren, G., McCann, J. C., and Ames, B. N. (2012) A nutrient-dense, high-fiber, fruit-based supplement bar increases HDL cholesterol, particularly large HDL, lowers homocysteine, and raises glutathione in a 2-wk trial. FASEB J 26, 3515-3527.

3 CHRCO/CHORI (2009). Pending United States patent application no. 13/877,103, owned by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, California.

4 Ames, B. N. (2006) Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. PNAS 103, 17589-17594. 

5 Ames, B. N. (2010) Prevention of mutation, cancer, and other age-associated diseases by optimizing micronutrient intake. J Nucleic Acids pli:725071. DOI: 10.4061/2010/725071.

6 McCann, J. C., and Ames, B. N. (2009) Vitamin K, an example of triage theory: is micronutrient inadequacy linked to diseases of aging? Am J Clin Nutr 90, 889-907.

7 McCann, J. C., and Ames, B. N. (2011) Adaptive dysfunction of selenoproteins from the perspective of the triage theory: why modest selenium deficiency may increase risk of diseases of aging. FASEB J 25, 1793-1814.

Related Stories

French hospital plans wine bar to cheer patients' last days

August 1, 2014
The French have long been famed for their unshakeable belief in the health benefits of a glass of wine.

Dietary supplements shown to increase cancer risk if taken in excess

April 20, 2015
While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, a forum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Tim Byers, MD, MPH, describes ...

Eating eggs reduces risk of type 2 diabetes

April 2, 2015
Egg consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland. The findings were published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Size matters when it comes to children's food choices

October 21, 2014
The secret to getting children to eat vegetables could lie in the portion size, a Deakin University study has revealed.

Protein push could help dieters fight fat

March 6, 2015
Can a high protein diet help people lose weight?

Recommended for you

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

September 20, 2017
First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers

September 19, 2017
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists ...

Study suggests link between youth football and later-life emotional, behavioral impairment

September 19, 2017
A new study has found an association between participation in youth tackle football before age 12 and impaired mood and behavior later in life. The study appears in Nature's Translational Psychiatry.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SusejDog
not rated yet Apr 22, 2015
Personally I prefer supplementing all individual micronutrients, and no bar can match me there, but for those who can't do this, such a product may be a good starting point.
VOR_
not rated yet Apr 22, 2015
My be a decent product, but article reads almost more like an ad.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.