Controlling the cravings for Pizzas, doughnuts, chocolates and similar foods can be a pain in the ass. But now there is a solution for effectively controlling these cravings while maintaining a healthy appetite. By consuming a particular type of powdered food supplement which is based on a bacteria produced in the gut, you can now reduce cravings for high-calorie junk foods and sugary treats, a new study suggests.
A group of 20 volunteers was asked by scientists from Imperial College of London and Glasgow University to consume a milkshake that either contained an ingredient called inulin-propionate ester, or a type of fibre called inulin. After this consumption, they were asked to undergo an MRI scan wherein they were shown pictures of different high and low-calorie foods such as salads, fish, vegetables, chocolates and pizzas. The report concluded that those who consumed the milkshake containing the inulin-propionate ester, they had less activity in areas of their brain linked to reward — but only when looking at the high-calorie foods. These areas called the caudate and the nucleus accumbens, found in the centre of the brain, have previously been linked to food cravings and the motivation to want a food.
In the second part of the study, the participants were given a bowl of pasta and tomato sauce and were asked to consume as much as they wanted. But after consuming the inulin-propionate ester, the participants ate 10 percent less pasta than when they drank the milkshake that contained inulin alone.
Senior author Gary Frost said, “This study shows that this supplement can decrease activity in brain areas associated with food reward at the same time as reducing the amount of food they eat.”
According to him, adding enough fibre in the daily diet to naturally produce a similar amount of propionate would be difficult. The study aside, it is advised by the nutritionists to include fibre in our daily breakfast to feel full for a longer period of time thus controlling the hunger cravings and actually keeping the bodyweight in check.
Co-senior author Tony Goldstone noted, “These show that altering how the gut works can change not only the appetite in general, but also change how the brain responds when they see high-calorie foods, and how appealing they find the foods to be.”
The extensive and detailed result about this study can be found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.