A certain type of fiber called inulin-propionate ester is the star in a new milkshake concocted by British scientists from the Imperial College London and University of Glasgow.
What’s so good about this drink is that it can prevent the body from craving for sweet foods, along with fast food products. The scientists claim that the powdered drink is quite effective and is generally safe as it is derived from a molecule that the human gut bacteria produce.
This particular molecule has the ability to switch off the parts of the brain in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex namely the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, which encourage cravings for calorie foods.
The scientists also say that the milkshake does not just reduce the cravings for snacks, but also even for healthy foods. The study on the shake concluded that it can stop people from overeating by up to 10%:
- The scientists studied 20 people who consumed the milkshake with inulin-propionate ester and just inulin, also a type of fiber.
- The volunteers also underwent MRI scans right after they drank the shake. Photos of food, such as veggies, fish, chocolates, pizza, and cakes were shown to them.
- Those who drank the milkshake had less activity in the brain, particularly as they looked at the foods with high calories. This meant that they were not interested.
The scientists discover that eating anything with inulin can help with weight loss. The milkshake contains gut bacteria which releases propionate to digest the same fiber and this can help reduce appetite. However, the inulin-propionate ester in the milkshake produces more propionate in the gut. This makes it possible to affect weight loss more effectively than simply taking fiber. The scientists could not pinpoint the specific reason why the ingredient causes the subjects to gain less weight. But it is effective since it reduces the brain activity linked to reward. In return, the person doesn’t need to consume a lot of food.
Fiber and Weight Loss
Fiber is a nutrient that has always been acclaimed for its ability to stop weight gain. It cannot be digested by the body, so we feel full for longer, which helps curb the cravings. While the milkshake isn’t commercially available yet, there are other foods rich in fiber, which you can also incorporate in your smoothies to reduce calorie intake. These foods include legumes, asparagus, oats, Brussels sprouts, apples, sweet potatoes, and raspberries.