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Prebiotic Supplement May Help Decrease Appetite and Lower Food Intake Overweight Adults

Curbing hunger is one of the hardest parts of dieting. A recent study suggests that taking a prebiotic supplement make help lower appetite, food intake, and inflammation in overweight adults.

Participants in the study included 88 overweight adults between the ages of 18 and 60 who took part in two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies. In the first study, the participants were given 6, 12, or 18 grams per day of the prebiotic alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (alpha-GOSs) or a placebo of glucose syrup for 14 days.

The researchers found that the higher the dose of alpha-GOSs, the higher the satiety in the participants. They found a similar correlation for dosage and calorie intake, with higher dosage corresponding to higher reductions in calorie intake when the participants ate test meals on day 0 and day 15.

In the second trial, which also lasted 14 days, the researchers gave the participants either a placebo of glucose syrup or 12 grams of alpha-GOSs of different compositions: (degree of polymerization of 2, 3, or 4). They did not note any changes in satiety between the different compositions. They did, however, note dose-dependent decreases in LPS and CRP, two markers of inflammation.

Finally, analysis of the microbiota of the participants found that the alpha-GOS interventions were associated with significant increases in bifidobacteria levels when compared with the control. These increases were the same for all compositions of alpha-GOS.

Researchers from Olygose S.A.S. in France and Tongji University in Shanghai conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 15, 2015, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Galacto-oligosaccharides are called second-generation prebiotics because they resist digestion by saliva and intestinal enzymes and arrive in the intestine basically intact. Previous studies suggest that second-generation prebiotics may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, stimulate immune functions, and help with the absorption of essential nutrients and syntheses of certain vitamins.

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