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UK scientists create ‘feel full’ chemical

Scientists in the UK have created a chemical designed to be added to food to make people feel full

Published: Updated:

Scientists in the UK have created a chemical designed to be added to food to make people feel full.

According to the BBC, early stage tests show that the chemical can help people to eat less.

It harnesses the power of a proprionate which makes us feel full by breaking down fibre in the gut, however, researchers writing in the “Gut” journal say it must be consumed regularly to have an effect

The scientists, from Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow, are attempting to incorporate the chemical into bread and fruit smoothies.

The propionate is bound to a natural carbohydrate found in plants, called inulin.

In tests, 20 volunteers were given either inulin on its own or with the new chemical added and then offered a buffet meal.

According to researchers, those who consumed the new chemical, called IPE, ate about 14 percent less food.

In the second part of the study, 49 overweight volunteers were given either inulin in powder form or IPE and asked to add a spoonful to their food everyday.

Twenty-four weeks later, the 24 volunteers who had used the inulin in powder form gained more than three percent of their body weight while only one IPE user had done so.

Study leader Prof Gary Frost, from Imperial College London, said: “We know that adults gain between 0.3kg and 0.8kg [1lb 12oz] a year on average, and there's a real need for new strategies that can prevent this.

“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.”

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