Life Extension Update
Tuesday, January 24, 2012. An article published online on January 11, 2012 in the journal Appetite reports the finding of researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark of an appetite-suppressing effect for flaxseed in healthy young men and women.
In one crossover study, 24 men and women underwent an overnight fast after which they were assigned to a drink containing 2.5 grams soluble flaxseed fibers or no fiber. Appetite was assessed every 30 minutes for two hours. A meal was then served to the participants and food consumption measured. Test days were separated by a period of at least two days. A second crossover study involved 20 participants, and compared the effects of same flax-containing drink to flax fiber tablets taken with the control beverage.
While the flax drink decreased hunger and food intake in comparison with the control beverage, no significant differences were observed between the effects of the flax drink and flax tablets. Calorie intake was 9 percent less after consuming the flax drink in comparison with that of subjects who consumed the control beverage. In their discussion of the findings, the authors note that studies have associated increased meal viscosity, such as occurs with the addition of viscous fibers, with a delay in gastric emptying, resulting in an increase in the extent and duration of stomach distension. This, in turn causes increased feelings of satiety. Additionally, viscous fiber intake can help normalize blood glucose and insulin, which may also help suppress hunger and reduce food intake. "As obesity is closely connected with appetite, regular ingestion of flaxseed fiber in a low-energy beverage prior to each meal may help to maintain or lose weight as suppression of hunger between meals may aid adherence to a calorie-restricted diet," Sabine Ibrugger and colleagues write. "The advantage of flaxseed fibers over other dietary fibers is that already a dose of 2.5 grams is sufficient to impact appetite. This is a considerably smaller amount than in most other studies, which administered dietary fiber doses ranging from 5 to 12 grams."
"The ingestion of the flaxseed fiber, both as a powder and tablets, increased satiety and decreased energy intake at a subsequent meal," they conclude. "The administration as tablets may constitute a more palatable and convenient alternative to viscous beverages."
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