Scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow have developed an innovative new weight control additive called inulin-propionate ester (IPE). The substance contains a fatty acid called propionate, which stimulates the gut to release appetite-regulating hormones.
The intention behind IPE is to provoke users into producing more propionate than is normal on a regular diet. So far, studies have shown that the substance could be pretty effective.
20 volunteers were given either IPE or a dietary fiber and were then let loose on an all-you-can-eat buffet. The IPE group ate an average of 14% less food than the inulin group and were found to have higher levels of appetite-regulating hormones in their bloodstream.
Imperial Innovations, a company that spun off from the academic reserach project, is now working on bringing IPE to commercial market.
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