A New Natural Appetite Suppressant Supplement: Inulin-Propionate Ester

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

A new study on a natural appetite suppressant supplement is offering new hope to those who suffer from uncontrollable food cravings, reported the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The supplement being tested is thought to feed probiotic bacteria in the gut, which stops the cravings.

Background on Food Cravings

How to stop cravings with a natural appetite suppressant supplementWhen you have uncontrollable food cravings, you need something to interrupt the signals that your gut and brain are sending you. Following the food cravings can lead to an extra 20 pounds of fat around the middle, especially if they are for high calorie foods such as ice cream, pizza, high-fat cheese, chocolate bars, pastries, and candies.

Of course, the extra fat around the middle can also result from high cortisol levels for those with adrenal fatigue. Early stages of adrenal fatigue see an increased release of cortisol as your body attempts to deal with stress. This affects your metabolism. In this case, those high-calorie, high-glycemic-index foods act as a fat trap for the belly fat you already have.

In this new study, researchers from the Imperial College of London and University of Glasgow believe they have discovered a way to stop cravings. If you’re looking for a natural appetite suppressant supplement, their method seems easy enough. The process involves simply adding a supplement, inulin-propionate ester, to a milkshake, allowing you to reduce your cravings for other foods.

This natural appetite suppressant supplement, called inulin-propionate ester, is as it’s name sounds, a combination of inulin and propionate ester.

What Is Inulin and Propionate Ester?

Inulin is a unique type of fiber found in certain foods such as bananas, artichokes, onions, leeks, garlic, and asparagus.

Chicory root is an herb that’s high in inulin, as well as dandelion root. Sometimes those on a gut healing protocol will be asked to switch from coffee to roasted chicory root and/or dandelion root tea. Foods high in inulin are used in many cases where the gut flora has to be re-established.

One of the main benefits of increasing inulin in the diet is to feel fuller after you eat, allowing you to eat less.

Propionate ester is a form of propionate, which is one of three different types of short-chain fatty acids produced by bacteria living in the intestinal tract. The other two are butyrate and acetate. One of the main known benefits of propionate is that it inhibits cholesterol synthesis.

How The Inulin-Propionate Ester Study Was Conducted

The UK researchers mixed together two substances with similar benefits, then tested to see if they got better results than what was expected for either one by itself.

In this study, 20 men were given a milkshake. Some received milkshakes that contained the inulin-propionate ester, the natural appetite suppressant supplement, while others received inulin alone in their milkshake. The control group got milkshakes without either supplement.

Then all 20 men had a functional MRI test. While they were inside the unit, they were shown pictures of high calorie foods that you would expect to make anyone salivate, as well as pictures of low calorie foods. Simultaneously, they were asked to rate how attractive the different foods were to them.

The Science Behind the Study

No more cravings with a natural appetite suppressant supplementWhen you eat foods you crave, different parts of your brain ‘light up’ with activity, showing your body feels rewarded. The parts of the brain involved are called the caudate and nucleus accumbens. When these parts of the brain ‘light up’, it means their metabolic activity rises. They also light up when you have cravings, are motivated by food, and then eat those particular foods.

What was found in this study was that, in men consuming the natural appetite suppressant, the reward centers of their brain did not light up. In fact, these areas showed reduced activity when the men viewed high calorie foods.

The men that consumed the inulin alone, without propionate-ester, showed a normal brain response towards the high calorie foods. In other words, the reward centers in their brains lit up in the same way as when people see a food they crave and then eat it.

Pasta Anyone?

Next, the researchers decided to tempt the men with a bowl of pasta and tomato sauce. Those that had the inulin-propionate ester ate 10% less than the other men. The natural supplement to suppress appetite shutdown the craving response in their reward centers enough that they were less interested in food and could eat less. The men could make logical decisions about food and not be carried away by cravings.

Some of the most important lessons from this study were that:

  • An inulin-propionate ester supplement is more effective than inulin by itself.
  • A inulin-propionate ester supplement suppresses appetite and is natural with no observed side effects.
  • Inulin-propionate ester helps gut bacteria signal the brain to regulate the appetite and controls food choices.
  • When you feed gut bacteria with fiber, you are making positive changes in overall health.
  • There is a possibility that adding the inulin-propionate ester to foods could be an effective way to stop the epidemic of obesity.

Adrenal Fatigue

Those with adrenal fatigue are already dealing with an imbalance in their bodies, and it is important to look carefully at new supplements to ensure they won’t make the situation worse. Extra caution needs to be taken to ensure there aren’t any potential drawbacks that weren’t discussed by the researchers, or that are specific to adrenal fatigue.

First, everyone’s body and situation is unique and decisions about new supplements need to be made on an individual basis. Broad statements aren’t going to work for everyone, although they may work for some.

In understanding adrenal fatigue, the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response, is an important element. In the NEM response to stress, multiple organs, systems, pathways, and chemical reactions interact to help balance your body and deal with stress. All these systems can also become imbalanced if the stress is severe for too long. Thus it is important to consider how all the organs will be affected when adrenal fatigue is severe.

AF benefits with a natural appetite suppressant supplementSalt cravings, obesity, and food sensitivities are also part of the systems involved in the NEM and affected by the cortisol imbalance caused by adrenal fatigue. If these symptoms aren’t addressed, they can add toxins to the system and increase the level of stressors the body is dealing with. They can also damage the receptor sites of cells and lead to dwindling hormonal levels, which causes even more stress. Thus, aiming to help the whole body recover simultaneously is truly going to help you recover from adrenal fatigue.

Possible Benefits for Adrenal Fatigue

There are several ways inulin-propionate ester could benefit those with adrenal fatigue.

Those with adrenal fatigue would benefit from having better gut-brain communication. Inulin-propionate ester appeared to do this in the study. When the communication improves, you can expect the integration of functions in the body to improve, which in turn accelerates healing.

Another consideration is that those with adrenal fatigue already have imbalanced systems that have a difficult time dealing with additional stressors, so it is important not to add to the body’s load. However, in the study, it appeared that no additional stress was caused by the supplement. Thus, the natural appetite suppressant supplement has a good chance of not worsening the condition of anyone with adrenal fatigue.

The supplement also seemed to improve gut function. When probiotic bacteria are working well in the gut, there’s an improvement in the entire body. This could potentially benefit those with adrenal fatigue because several organs are involved in helping the body recover from too much stress, and the gut is a major one. Gut dysfunctions are prevalent in those with adrenal fatigue so improving them is a good step.

There is also a possibility that the natural appetite suppressant supplement could improve immune system function, which is often an issue for those with adrenal fatigue. The function of the microbiome in the gut is often tied to immunity. This means that better bacteria in the gut leads to better immunity.

A Good Natural Appetite Suppressant Supplement for Adrenal Fatigue?

There are certainly some factors pointing to the possibility that inulin-propionate ester could be a good supplement for those with adrenal fatigue. However, it is important to check with your doctor. There haven’t been many other studies on the topic, so more information is needed. It is worth noting that the men in the study were at their healthy body weight and were not people who tend to have food cravings that get out of hand or other health issues complicating the situation, such as would occur for those with adrenal fatigue.

How the natural appetite suppressant supplement worksWith additional research comes fine-tuning of a topic. It’s possible that the supplement is only good for those people in the beginning stages of adrenal fatigue, but not those in more advanced stages. In many cases, if you are in more mild stages of adrenal fatigue, appetite suppressant may be helpful, but if you are in more advance stages of adrenal fatigue, they can backfire and make you worse. We really don’t know how this new supplement will affect you, and that’s why consulting your doctor to make the best and most informed decision is a good idea.

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

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