Results of a recent report indicate a blackcurrant extract could produce weight loss of an additional 15 pounds per year in some people.

Rachel French, Contributing writer

February 27, 2024

2 Min Read
blackcurrant extract

At a Glance

  • The study demonstrates blackcurrant extract can significantly increase fat burning in individuals without exercise.
  • Researchers suggest the extract might improve body composition and reduce risks of chronic diseases.
  • While the extract was administered as a supplement in the study, it can also be used in functional foods and beverages.

An extract of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) showed the potential to improve a person’s ability to burn fat by as much as 61%, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals. The boost in fat burning adds up to between 11 and 45 pounds of weight loss in a year.

What’s more, the fat-burning boost was achieved without exercise.

Obesity is a serious and growing issue, affecting nearly 42% of Americans, according to CDC. That represents an increase of more than 10% since 2000, when obesity affected about 30% of the population. CDC reports that obesity is associated with serious health risks like heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The present study demonstrated how Enzans, an anthocyanin-rich proprietary blackcurrant extract from New Zealand, mimics the effects of fat burning during exercise.

For the study, 16 healthy and physically active males were given 600 mg of CurraNZ, a supplement containing a 210 mg of Enzans, for 14 days.

The findings showed intake of 210 mg Enzans increased fat burning by up to 61% in sedentary adults. On average, fat burning increased in participants by 21%.

“Based on the premise that this New Zealand blackcurrant extract is effective for 6 to 10 hours of the day, outside of eating periods (when the effects would be eliminated), this could contribute to burning up to an additional 15 pounds of fat in a year for some people,” Mark Willems, professor in exercise physiology at the University of Chichester and lead researcher of the study, said.

For the study participants, the cumulative effects over a year would burn an additional 11 to 45 pounds of fat, without exercise.

Three-quarters of the participants displayed fat-burning improvements normally associated with 1 to 3 months of daily endurance exercise, results showed. The increase in fat burning was not dependent on the participant’s body fat percentage or body mass index, Willems said.

Importantly, the effect of the blackcurrant extract could provide benefits to health beyond weight loss.

“Enhanced fat burning at rest over a long period of time has the potential to provide beneficial changes in body composition,” Willems explained. “This may reduce a risk factor for the development of some chronic diseases.”

New Zealand’s strong sunlight, high UV levels and cold winters create a unique environment that yields a berry with higher anthocyanin levels compared to other regions, and 1.5 times the concentrations found in European-grown varieties. A similar effect has been seen in other fruits, such as avocado.

While the extract was administered to study subjects as a supplement, Willems said the extract is also suitable for use in functional foods and beverages. The anthocyanins in the extract, however, are sensitive to heat and moisture.

“Consideration is required with processing in relation to foods and beverages,” Willems said. “Additional extract can be added to offset any losses created when adding to beverages.”

About the Author(s)

Rachel French

Contributing writer

Rachel French joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. French left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.

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