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Scientists have found a supplement that can switch off junk food cravings

Scientists have found a supplement that can switch off junk food cravings

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Scientists in the UK have developed a supplement that can reportedly switch off cravings for high-calorie foods, such a pizza and doughnuts, while leaving the healthy appetite unaffected.

After testing the new supplement, called inulin-propionate ester, with 20 volunteers, they showed that it not only resulted in less cravings for junk food, it also made them eat smaller portions.

This is a small and very early trial, so we can’t get too excited just yet. But the supplement, developed by researchers at Imperial College London, is based on a molecule produced by gut bacteria that tells the brain when you’ve eaten enough, and follows on from years of work into the feedback pathway.

The team had already shown that eating a type of fibre called inulin can increase the production of the molecule propionate in the intestine, which is made by gut bacteria when you’re full, and signals to the brain to stop eating.

But they’d also shown that, by modifying inulin to contain propionate – a compound they’ve called inulin-propionate ester – they could trigger gut bacteria to produce as much as 2.5 times more propionate.

To test how that affects appetite, in this latest research, the team gave 20 volunteers either a milkshake containing 10 grams of inulin propionate ester, or regular inulin on its own, which acted as the control.

They then had them lie in an MRI scanner while they were shown various pictures of low or high calorie foods, such as salad and fish, or chocolate and cake. read more at sciencealert.com