Scientists create chemical that makes you feel full
There's potentially a new weapon in the war on obesity. Scientists in the U.K. say they've been able to create a chemical that makes people feels full and discourages them from overeating, according to research published in the journal Gut..
The researchers said that the a substance called IPE – a combination of the chemical proprionate and the plant-based carbohydrate inulin – works by breaking down fiber in the gut.
For the study, 20 volunteers were given either inulin on its own or the new ingredient, IPE, and then were told to eat as much as they liked from a buffet. Those who had been given IPE ate about 14 percent less food. In the next part of the study, 49 overweight volunteers were either given IPE or inulin in powder form and were asked to add 10g of it (about a spoonful) to their food every day. After 24 weeks, six of the 24 volunteers given inulin had gained back more than 3 percent of their body weight while only one of the 25 given IPE had gained weight.
The tricky part of the research was finding a way to deliver the chemical into the colon, where it triggers the release of hormones that control appetite. Just adding it on its own to food would not work because it would be absorbed by the intestine too early. So the team found a way to bind it to a natural carbohydrate found in plants, called inulin. The chemical can then make it through the digestive system before being freed by bacteria in the colon.
But there are challenges. The ingredient is a foul-tasting powder. although the scientists are seeing if it can be incorporated into smoothies or bread.
Also, more research is needed to reduce the impact of the chemical on the bowels.