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Could THIS Ingredient Be the Key to Feeling Full Faster?


Scientists have discovered a new ingredient that could be the secret to helping you feel fuller much faster. Considering the fact that about one-third of all Americans are obese, it certainly couldn't hurt to look at new, innovative ways to treat obesity. The key hunger-squelching, fill-me-up-faster ingredient that the researchers developed is called inulin-propionate ester (IPE).

When microbes in your colon ferment fiber from the food you eat, short-chain fatty acids are produced. Several new studies have found that the short-chain fatty acid called propionate may help regulate your appetite by promoting the secretion of certain gut hormones, specifically glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY). Although these hormones are released after your body ferments dietary fiber, a normal diet doesn't provide a large amount of propionate. Researchers thought that if they delivered a concentrated form of propionate directly to the gut, it could help people feel full faster, thus decreasing food intake and ultimately preventing weight gain. The researchers created a human colonic cell model called inulin-propionate ester (IPE).

The Studies

Scientists from Imperial College London, led by professor Gary Frost of the Nutrition and Dietetic Research Group, performed two studies to test out their newly-developed IPE. First, the researchers recruited 20 participants and gave half of them 10 grams of regular dietary fiber and half of them 10 grams of IPE. The participants were then instructed to consume however much food they wanted from a buffet. The results were pretty remarkable--the study participants who were given the IPE consumed 14% less food than the participants who were given the dietary fiber. Those participants who were given the IPE also had larger amounts of appetite-diminishing hormones circulating in their bloodstreams.

Researchers wanted to study this further, examining the longer-term effects of IPE. They held a randomized, controlled 24-week trial, this time including 60 overweight individuals. Each day, half of this group was given a beverage with 10 grams of IPE added to it and the other half was given a beverage with 10 grams of regular dietary fiber added to it. The results? Those given the IPE had the appetite-diminishing hormones PYY and GLP-1 released from the cells in their colons and consumed fewer calories. The participants given the 10 grams a day of IPE had significantly decreased weight gain, liver fat, and belly fat, and they preserved insulin sensitivity when compared to the group that received regular dietary fiber.

Another benefit--the participants showed no negative side effects.

How May This Affect You?

These scientists plan to perform tests to see if they can add IPE to commonly-consumed foods and get the same appetite-suppressing results. This could potentially have a major impact on the fight against obesity. The scientists who developed the IPE ingredient believe that adding it to commonly-consumed foods could potentially inhibit weight gain in overweight adults.

More research would certainly be helpful. Of course, we know there is no "magic pill" that will immediately make people lose weight or prevent weight gain, but if there is a safe, effective ingredient available to give people a little extra help, it is worth exploring.


How to Get Better Balance

Kari Hartel, RD, LD is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and freelance writer based out of St. Louis, MO. Kari is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and is committed to helping people lead healthy lives. She completed a yearlong dietetic internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, where she worked with a multitude of clients and patients with complicated diagnoses. She planned, marketed, and implemented nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations for the general public as well as for special populations, including patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and school-aged children.

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