Satiety: How to win the hunger games.
When it comes to making healthy food choices, American will power has turned to won’t power. Too many of us too often opt for French fries instead of carrot sticks, and marshmallows instead of mushrooms. And as for exercise? Despite Nike urging us to “Just Do It,” most of us just don’t.
Obesity is nearing epidemic proportions in virtually all western countries, but especially in the United States, which is the world’s poster child for food overindulgence. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that among Americans aged 20 and older, 149.3 million-78 million men and 71.3 million women-are packing too many pounds, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25.0 kg per cubic meter (kg/m2) and higher. Of these, 75.0 million-34.9 million men and 40.1 million women-are obese, with a BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 and higher.
The problems begin early, according to the AHA. Current estimates indicate that about one-third of the nation’s children aged 2 to 19 are overweight, and about one in six is obese. This points to a frightening future because overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults-a chance that increases to 80% if one or both parents are overweight or obese.
The human cost of obesity is saddening, given the fact that excess adipose contributes mightily to heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other painful, debilitating conditions.
The nation suffers, too. The AHA estimates total excess costs related to the current prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity at about $254 billion ($208 billion in lost productivity secondary to premature morbidity and mortality and $46 billion in direct medical costs).
If current trends in obesity growth continue, the AHA says total healthcare costs attributable to obesity could reach $861 to $957 billion by 2030-which would account for 16-18% of total U.S. health expenditures.
Going back as far as memory serves, the dietary supplement industry has made weight management one of its prime targets. Of late, many ingredient suppliers have zeroed in on the promotion of satiety-a full feeling-to help consumers willingly shun rich desserts and second servings. The hope is that people will eat less and not grow fat-or at least not as fat.
In the opinion of Puya Yazdi, MD, medical director at Cyvex Nutrition (Irvine, CA), most of today’s scientists and physicians “suspect that the best dietary supplements will be ones that increase satiety, thereby decreasing food consumption without unwanted side effects.”
Ahead, get a taste of just a few satiety ingredients on the supplements/food market.
Litesse polydextrose, a low-calorie (only 1 cal/g) prebiotic soluble dietary fiber, is the leading satiety-oriented ingredient in the DuPont Danisco product portfolio. Michael Bond, the company’s UK-based health platform leader, says, “Litesse has been demonstrated to have potential for a more active role in weight management, with a number of human studies documenting its satiating effect and demonstrating that it can help consumers to reduce their caloric intake.”
Bond cites an August study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in which researchers demonstrated a 10% reduction in caloric intake at a monitored lunch following consumption of a polydextrose 60 minutes prior to the lunch.
Bond explains that Litesse lowers glycemic response and contributes to satiety while adding fiber to all kinds of processed foods. He urges that further work be done to pinpoint the ingredient’s mechanism of action. Currently, he says, it is believed that there may be a connection to prolonged gastric emptying.
Litesse is suitable for all of the following applications: bakery, beverages, confectionery, culinary, dairy, frozen desserts, fruit applications, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals. Because Litesse contains 75% fewer calories than sugar, it is also, in Bond’s words, “an ideal ingredient for reducing sugars and calories in products focused on weight management.”
Mitch Skop, senior director of new product development, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (Kearny, NJ), doffs his cap to scientists of the 1980s, who he says began to examine how fats, proteins, and carbohydrates influence appetite. Among their early discoveries: certain fats, including purified palm oil, can create a desired feeling of fullness. By 1997, an emulsion of palm and oat oils called Olibra was launched as a trademarked product. According to Skop, Pharmachem uses Olibra under license from DSM Nutritional Products (Parsippany, NJ) as a key element in Pharmachem’s own branded ingredient, Phase 1 Hunger Controller.
Skop says, “Researchers believe that the presence of Olibra in the ileum (located in the lower part of the small intestine) activates a mechanism known as the ileal brake. When the ileal brake is activated, food moves more slowly through the system, thus imparting a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. This helps people to feel satisfied, yet eat less in order to manage weight.”
Meanwhile, DSM has its own version of a palm/oat emulsion. Caroline Brons, senior marketing manager, describes the company’s Fabuless as a patented lipid emulsion that relies on the ileal brake mechanism to provide a sense of satiety. According to Brons, Fabuless is available in both liquid and powder form and can be formulated into a variety of food, beverage, and supplement applications.
She adds, “The palm oil in Fabuless is coated by a protective layer of oat oil, which delays the digestion of this lipid emulsion. The presence of undigested fat in the small intestine (ileum) sends an ‘appetite control’ signal to the brain to indicate that you are comfortably full. Further on in the intestine, Fabuless will be fully digested; hence no gastrointestinal discomfort.”
Brons’ DSM colleague Deshanie Rai, PhD, senior scientific leader, says that there is an accumulating body of clinical evidence demonstrating that the combination of purified oat and palm oil emulsion reduces food and caloric intake during short-term intakes and reduces waist circumference and body fat mass when consumed over the long term. Moreover, Rai says, there are clinical studies demonstrating how this purified oat and palm oil emulsion works to suppress appetite among consumers. Specifically, he says, studies have shown that this emulsion, 1) supports appropriate levels of the satiety-inducing hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (Diepvens K et al., International Journal of Obesity, 2007), 2) reduces the orocecal transit time of yogurt containing Fabuless (Haenni A et al., Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 2009), and 3) results in activation of the ileal brake mechanism (Knutson L et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010).
Nichole De Block, marketing director of Nutraceuticals International (Paramus, NJ), also discusses the satiety-inducing hormone GLP-1 in connection with a new satiety-targeted ingredient that her company scheduled for a November 2012 debut. De Block describes Slimpro as an “ideal source of protein” that is derived from northern blue whiting fish fillets. She says Slimpro works naturally with the human physiology by increasing cholecystokinin (CCK), the most studied satiety signal, and GLP-1 production, which sends messages to the brain to control feelings of hunger.
De Block cites research done by Compagnie des PÃªches Saint-Malo, her firm’s European partner in Slimpro. Elisa Duclos, spokesperson for the French company, says that in vitro and in vivo studies helped determine whether hydrolysates produced from the muscle of blue whiting possess satiating properties.
According to the abstract of one study that was published in SciVerse Science Direct (December 2011), the researchers demonstrated for the first time that a protein hydrolysate obtained from marine source was able to enhance CCK and GLP-1 secretion in STC-1 cell line. They stated, “Results showed that [blue whiting muscle] reduced the short-term food intake which was correlated to an increase in the CCK and GLP-1 plasma levels. Moreover it was demonstrated that the chronic administration of [blue whiting muscle] led to a decrease in the body weight gain.”
Dow Wolff Cellulosics, a unit of Dow Chemical based in Germany, is developing a novel methylcellulose ingredient called Satisfit LTG. Methylcellulose is a permitted food additive that is generally used for its gelling properties. It has not yet been marketed as a satiety trigger; however, the company says Satisfit’s gelling ability may also have a satiety angle.
The company recently presented research on this ingredient and its satiety possibilities at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. The company put its Satisfit LTG ingredient to the test in a human clinical trial. When test subjects consumed Satisfit LTG or a non-gelling equivalent, those who consumed Satisfit LTG consumed 13% fewer calories in their following meal.
“The satiety effect [of Satisfit LTG] most likely comes from its ability to form a gel in the body, probably comparable to the effects of alginates,” posits Carsten Huettermann, Bomlitz, Germany–based global R&D leader in the food and nutrition division. Alginates are substances that bind water to serve as thickeners, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Huettermann explains that whereas alginates need acid or bivalent cations-e.g. calcium-to trigger gelling, Satisfit LTG only needs to reach a certain temperature in order to gel. Once it forms a gel, Satisfit LTG retains its gel form while passing the small intestine. The company says that the ingredient’s mechanism of satiety action may be attributed to slower gastric emptying.
Huettermann says Satisfit provides several options for formulation in food products such as yogurts, shakes and smoothies. In the United Kingdom, Dow Wolff Cellulosics has now filed a novel foods application for the ingredient.
At Kellogg Canada (Mississauga, ON, Canada), researchers are exploring pulse grains and their possible satiety and other weight-management effects. In an August 2012 British Journal of Nutrition paper, two Kellogg scientists, Christopher P. Marinangeli and Peter J. Jones, state that “evidence suggests that pulse-derived fibers, trypsin inhibitors and lectins may reduce food intake by inducing satiety via facilitating and prolonging [CKK] secretion.”
Marinangeli and Jones assessed pulse grains’ nutritional composition alongside data from available preclinical and clinical trials that suggest that pulses can modulate biological processes leading to obesity. The researchers concluded, “Given the available evidence, it can be concluded that pulses could be useful as functional foods and food ingredients that combat obesity.”
Part of Kellogg’s interest in pulses for weight management stems from the fact that pulses consistently prompt lower glucose and insulin responses compared with other foods. The glycemic response (peak and area under the curve) to pulses is at least 45% lower than that of other carbohydrate-containing foods such as cereals, grains, pasta, biscuits, and tuberous vegetables. This reduced glycemic response means subjects may experience returning hunger more slowly.
Chase Hagerman, business development and marketing manager for Chemi Nutra (White Bear Lake, MN), believes satiety is connected to brain chemistry. His company’s hunger-controlling ingredient, called PhosphoLean, is a patented compound of N-oleoyl-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine (NOPE) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
According to Hagerman, “PhosphoLean does more than just lower food cravings. It also decreases the depressive symptoms that often are associated when someone goes on a calorie-restrictive diet, decreases insulin resistance, and increases diet compliance.”
Morristown, NJ–based P.L. Thomas is the exclusive North American distributor of Satireal, a saffron extract said to enhance the activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin, influencing satiety, appetite, mood, and behaviors related to snacking.
Bob Berman, the firm’s international marketing manager, reports that an eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Nutrition Research in 2010 produced promising results. Satiereal was linked to a decrease in appetite of 84% versus a 52% decrease in the placebo group. Satiereal intake also decreased snacking by 55% compared to a 27% reduction in the placebo group, and the decrease in cravings for sweets was 78% in the Satiereal group.
There were no reports of side effects in the study groups, and compliance with the Satiereal regimen was excellent, the company says. Typical use levels for Satiereal are 90 mg, twice a day, before breakfast and dinner, for a total of 180 mg.
Brattleboro, VT–based Icon Group LLC, a NutraGenesis affiliate, believes that hormones hold the key to a number of weight-management benefits. The group’s president, Suzanne McNeary, identifies leptin as a major hormone that may go out of balance (i.e., leptin resistance) and cause significant weight-related distress.
“Leptin resistance occurs when overweight and obese people produce large amounts of leptin yet are resistant to its effects primarily as a result of widespread, systemic inflammation,” says McNeary.
She says her company’s LeptiCore is a nutraceutical ingredient that has been clinically researched and proven to reduce leptin levels and systemic inflammation. This results in decreased leptin resistance and enhanced leptin function for greater satiety and appetite control, thermogenesis, and blood sugar balance. McNeary cites extensive scientific research, including human clinical trials, to substantiate LeptiCore’s structure/function claims in the areas of weight loss/weight management, satiety/appetite control, thermogenesis, mood enhancement, metabolic wellness, cardiovascular health, inflammation response, and more.
Icon Group offers other weight-management supplement ingredients as well, including WellTrim iG, a patented, clinically proven extract of African Mango (Irvingia gabonensis); Synetrim CQ, based on an extract of Cissus quadrangularisi; and Synetrim Pro 300, a proprietary blend containing the active ingredients of both WellTrim iG and Synetrim CQ. McNeary says that subjects using Synetrim Pro 300 experienced significant improvements in serum leptin and adiponectin-hormones associated with healthy weight management, satiety, thermogenesis, blood sugar balance, and cardiovascular health-as well as serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with mood and satiety.
Hormones also are a focus of Ingredion Inc. (Westchester, IL), whose leading satiety-related ingredient is Hi-Maize 260 resistant starch. Rhonda Witwer, the firm’s senior business development manager, says, “Hi-Maize naturally contains two major modes of action. The first is a slowly digestible portion that triggers hormonal changes in the small intestine for short-term benefits, including satiety and insulin sensitivity.”
Witwer cites research by Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, at the University of Minnesota, who found that resistant starch provides stronger satiety benefits over two hours versus other types of dietary fibers.
Witwer says that Michael Keenan, an associate professor at Louisiana State University, improved understanding of the way resistant starch in the large intestine generates metabolism benefits; it does it by shifting the expression of more than 200 genes within the large intestine, many of which impact metabolism, satiety, and insulin sensitivity.
To the inevitability of death and taxes, one may be tempted to add a third: the ongoing challenge to eradicate overweight and obesity from the American lifestyle. If this sounds a bit hopeless, it shouldn’t. Just as some people will continue to struggle, others will succeed in corralling the beast, and they will enjoy long and healthful lives.
At the same time, responsible suppliers and manufacturers of science-based ingredients and products can do well by doing good. Weight control always has been a lucrative sector, and there is no reason to believe that this will change in the foreseeable future.
Michael Bond of DuPont Danisco sees products boasting weight management and satiety claims entering a “renewed period of dynamic growth.” According to Bond, today’s consumers are less likely to respond to passive claims such as reduced calories, sugar, and fat. Instead they are looking for tangible evidence that a product is working. In Bond’s view, “ingredients offering satiety are well-placed to provide this benefit.”
Nutritionists see it as a green leafy vegetable rich in iron. Cardiologists see it as a substance that can interfere with the blood thinners they prescribe. Many kids see it and say, “Yuck!” But Anders Struksnes, CEO of Green Leaf Medical AB (Stockholm, Sweden), sees spinach as a valuable potential tool for satiety and weight management, and a strong business opportunity as well.
Struksnes says Green Leaf recently began marketing patented thylakoids, compounds found in spinach, as an ingredient to reduce appetite. He explains, “membrane proteins and lipids from spinach leaves stimulate a process in the intestine that creates satiety-the feeling of fullness.”
According to Struksnes, the process starts locally in the gut but also influences the brain, making thylakoids doubly useful in controlling hunger and overeating. He cites in vitro and in vivo studies showing that the appetite-reduction effect starts directly after intake and lasts for at least six hours. And, he adds, “Studies in human crossover models show that the thylakoid substance is especially effective against abdominal obesity.”
A Beverage Blend
An August 23, 2012, study published in Appetite suggests that a beverage combining soluble fiber, caffeine, and green tea catechins may suppress hunger and lead to less energy consumption at the next meal.
The authors say that while previous studies have separately shown that beverages containing soluble fibers may decrease caloric intake, and that caffeine and green tea catechins may increase satiety, this study uniquely combined and studied all three elements together.
Adam Drenowski, PhD, and Brett Carter, MS, the University of Washington scientists who conducted the research, reported that a beverage blending all three-fiber, caffeine, and green tea catechins-resulted in the least amount of hunger, the highest fullness ratings, and the lowest energy intake at the next meal. In the study, this blend was matched against a beverage containing soluble fiber alone and a no-beverage control condition. All beverages had the same caloric value.
An Appetite study published on July 27, 2012, examined whether or not consumers understand the limits of weight-loss satiety products-namely, that satiety products are not “magic bullets” and that weight loss also requires personal effort from consumers. A total of 1504 subjects from the UK, France, Italy, and Germany participated in the study.
According to researchers, “The majority of these respondents correctly interpret satiety-related claims; i.e., they largely limit their interpretation to what was actually stated. They do not expect a ‘magic bullet’ effect, but understand that personal efforts are required to translate product attributes into potential weight control benefits.”
They concluded, “Overall, these results indicate there is likely to be a relatively low level of consumer misinterpretation of satiety-related claims on food products.”
Slendesta is an all-natural potato protein extract ingredient developed and marketed by Kemin Industries Inc. (Des Moines, IA). According to the ingredient supplier, Slendesta “makes weight management easier by helping people to feel full sooner and longer. That feeling of satiety makes it easier for people to stick to a diet’s meal plan by minimizing feelings of hunger between meals.”
The active component in Slendesta is a natural protein called Proteinase Inhibitor II (PI2). The company says PI2 is found just under the skin of the potato. It works by enhancing the body’s natural release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a natural factor used by the body to signal the brain that food has been eaten; this, in turn, helps to create feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
Los Angeles, CA–based SlenderOne is a manufacturer of finished dietary supplement products. The company is also one of Kemin’s Slendesta customers. But, instead of just taking the weight-control substance and running with it, SlenderOne wanted to incorporate it into something that might be even better.
Accordingly, says Ken Fisher, manager of the California firm, SlenderOne has combined Slendesta with two other well-known ingredients: green tea extract for antioxidant protection, and Chromax chromium picolinate from Purchase, NY–based Nutrition 21 to help maintain healthy blood sugar metabolism.
Fisher proudly points to the blend of ingredients as an example of how a finished product manufacturer may creatively differentiate his offerings while providing something brand new to the marketplace.