A new powder which has been created by scientists could be a vital tool in the fight against obesity.
The teams at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow have investigated ways to make food more filing and therefore stop people overeating, resulting in the natural supplement. It boasts propionate, which encourages the gut to release hormones that make the brain tell the body it's no longer hungry. The team apparently hope that it could be added to things like bread to help people stop over-indulging.
Propionate is produced naturally in the gut, but the supplement boasts a much larger amount of it than people usually have.
To help deduce the effect it could have on people, scientists tested 20 people. Those given the supplement, called inulin-propionate ester (IPE), ate around 14 per cent less from an all-you-can-eat buffet than those who didn't have it.
Another group of overweight people were tested over a longer period of time and it was found that those who took IPE gained significantly less weight over 24 weeks.
"We know that adults gain between 0.3 and 0.8 kilos a year on average, and there's a real need for new strategies that can prevent this," Imperial College London's Professor Gary Frost explained.
"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.
"We wanted to find a more efficient way to deliver propionate to the gut."
The findings were published in Gut journal, and the team are now looking at ways to bring the supplement to the market.
While it could be invaluable in fighting the rising levels of obesity among adults, this won't be a miracle cure. More it's something used alongside a diet and exercise regime, which could help improve the results you see. So don't go thinking you can much on doughnuts for breakfast as long as you have IPE too - nothing is a substitute for your five fruit and vegetable portions a day and a diet low in saturated fat.
© Cover Media