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A new satiety-inducing ingredient can prevent weight gain, study

Posted:  Friday, December 19, 2014

The findings of a recent British study could usher in a lot of cheer for all weight loss enthusiasts. British scientists have developed a new ingredient named inulin-propionate ester (IPE) which when added to foods imparts satiety and prevents weight gain.

The new ingredient contains propionate, which is naturally produced when dietary fibre is fermented by gut microbes. Propionate is known to stimulate the gut to release hormones that act on the brain to reduce hunger. The scientists published their findings in the journal Gut.

For the study, the researchers gave 20 volunteers either IPE or only inulin, a dietary fibre, and then allowed them to eat as much as they liked from a buffet. Those given IPE ate 14% less on average and had higher levels of satiety-inducing hormones in the blood. In the second phase of the study, the researchers recruited 60 overweight volunteers for a 24-week study; half the volunteers were given IPE powder to add to their food and half were given inulin.

Only one volunteer in the IPE group gained more than 3% of their body weight and none of the IPE group gained more than 5% of their body weight. At the end of 24 weeks, the group consuming IPE reported less abdominal and liver fat as compared to those in the inulin group.

The new ingredient IPE is thought to produce more propionate than plain fibre when consumed. Talking further about the effects of propionate, the scientists said “Molecules like propionate stimulate the release of gut hormones that control appetite, but you need to eat huge amounts of fibre to achieve a strong effect.”

Although weight gain is multifactorial, modulating appetite is the easiest way to reduce weight. With data from further research backing the use of this ingredient, the practical applications of this product in the food industry are paramount.

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