For a healthy bod, eating plenty of veggies is key–but now a certain vegetable could have additional benefits for dieters.
According to new research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, thylakoids, an extract taken from spinach, also helps release satiety hormones, helping cut hunger levels and making people feel fuller faster.
As for how it works, it appears to slow down fat digestion–something which triggers the release of satiety hormones in the body.
“By retarding fat digestion, thylakoids, the internal photosynthetic membrane system of green plants, promote the release of satiety hormones,” write researchers in the online version of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. “This study examined the effect of consuming a single dose of concentrated extract of thylakoids from spinach on satiety, food intake, lipids, and glucose compared to a placebo.”
For their research, scientists recruited 60 overweight and obese individuals to perform a series of tests. Extracting thylakoids from the spinach plant, researchers fed them the extract after consuming breakfast, which was then followed with lunch. As they ate, researchers kept tabs on their glucose and blood lipids, something which helped them measure their satiety and hunger response.
After these meals were consumed, researchers compared the results.
So what did they find? Simple: The spinach extract killed their hunger levels. Their statistics found that consuming the extract delayed their desire to eat more food for at least two hours, lowering their caloric intake. It also appeared to have the greatest effect on men, who were the most likely to eat fewer calories.
Clearly, this extract works, admit researchers.
“Compared to placebo, consuming the spinach extract reduced hunger and longing for food over 2 hours and increased postprandial plasma glucose concentrations,” write researchers. “At this dose, the spinach extract containing thylakoids increases satiety over a 2-hour period compared to a placebo. Thylakoid consumption may influence gender-specific food cravings.”
If you want to take advantage of this treatment as well, however, there’s bad news–this specific extract isn’t available for consumers in the amounts specified during the study. However, you may be able to get a similar response by upping your spinach intake, note some health experts, as spinach also carries moderate amounts of fiber. Fiber, in larger doses, can trigger satiety faster as well.
Chances are likely you may see this extract in your local health food store in the future, however.
“The reduction in hunger and the desire for salty food that we saw in this study might make thylakoids particularly useful for people with high blood pressure and associated weight problems,” says Frank L. Greenway, M.D., co-author of the study.
Readers: Would you take this extract to lose weight? Why or why not?
Effects of Spinach Extract on Satiety: Feel Full, Curb Cravings – ScienceDaily.com
Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial (Study) – TandFOnline.com