A new study performed at the Imperial College London has discovered a compound known as Propionate could help to reduce appetite and prevent weight gain in overweight people.
What does Propionate do?
Propionate works by binding to plant based carbohydrates known as inulin when consumed. This creates a compound that can be passed through your digestive tract before being released in the colon.
It is during this release that makes the body feel as though it is full, which in turn will help to reduce your appetite and therefore reduce the amount of food you consume along with those calories.
What did the study involve?
The study itself was done in 2 parts with the first part involving 20 volunteers who were given either the Propionate or a supplement containing dietary fibre. They were then allowed to eat whatever they wanted from a buffet.
In this first part of the study those volunteers who took the Propionate ate 14% less than those who took the dietary fibre supplement.
The second part of the study was a little different as it took place over the course of 24 weeks, with 60 overweight subjects given either the Propionate or dietary fibre to take with their regular diet.
For this second part those who took the Propionate were able to maintain their weight easier.
Those who completed this study also noticed visible reduction in belly fat with reduced fat in their livers.
The study author had this to say about their findings:
“The present results support a role specifically for colonic propionate in weight management and may provide a molecular explanation of recent data that have observed changes in the gut [range of bacteria] and associated [short chain fatty acid production] profiles in weight loss.”
This research is still in its infancy, but is certainly promising. Only time will tell whether it can be used practically, perhaps in a dietary supplement.