The benefits of the extract are due to its high concentration of
polyphenols, a beneficial chemical component also found in fruits and
vegetables, said the scientists from McGill University in Canada.
"We were astonished by the results," said Luis Agellon, one of the
"We thought this can't be right – in fact, we ran the experiment again
using a different batch of extract prepared from potatoes grown in
another season, just to be certain," Agellon explained.
Popularly known for its carbohydrate content, the potato is also a
source of polyphenols.
While carrying out the study, the researchers fed mice an
obesity-inducing diet for 10 weeks.
As a result, the mice that started out weighing on average 25 grams
put on about 16 grams. But mice that consumed the same diet but with a
potato extract gained much less weight – only seven more grams.
"The daily dose of extract comes from 30 potatoes, but of course we do
not advise anyone to eat 30 potatoes a day," principal author of the
study Stan Kubow pointed out.
Although humans and mice metabolize foods in similar ways, clinical
trials are absolutely necessary to validate beneficial effects in
humans. Besides, the optimal dose for men and women also needs to be
determined, since their metabolisms differ.
The study appeared in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.