Addition of eight grams of a viscous fiber powder from fenugreek to a normal breakfast resulted in significantly a higher feeling of fullness, according to findings published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
“The effects on appetite suppression and food intake suggest that fenugreek fiber may have a role in the control of food intake in obese individuals,” wrote the researchers, led by Jocelyn Mathern, RD, the study's principal investigator and now the Technical Manager for Frutarom Health USA.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Frutarom USA, and used Frutarom’s FenuLife branded ingredient.
Growing waistlines indicate a growing market
Satiety is seen as a key target in the battle against obesity, with figures from Europe showing that up to 27 per cent of men, 38 per cent of women, and 3 million children are clinically obese in some parts of the bloc.
The retail market for weight management products was estimated by Euromonitor International to be worth US$0.93bn (€0.73) in Europe in 2005 and $3.93bn in the US, indicating that call to slim down or face the health consequences is being heeded by a slice of the overweight population at least.
Foods marketed for satiety enhance feelings of fullness after eating, acting as a boost to a person's will-power and helping them avoid a reversion to old habits in a bid to stave off hunger pangs, or 'grazing' in between meals.
The single-blind, crossover study involved 18 obese people (BMI above 30 kg/m2) with an average age of 32. Participants were randomized to receive 4 or 8 grams of the fenugreek extract (FenuLife, Frutarom) or placebo in a beverage alongside a standardized breakfast. The participants rated their feelings of hunger, satiety, fullness and prospective food consumption every 30 minutes for 3.5 hours after the breakfast.
Blood samples were taken to measure blood glucose and insulin levels. Subjects were then given an unlimited lunch buffet and recorded food intake for the rest of the day.
While no difference was observed between the placebo and 4 gram dose of the ingredient, a statistically significant increase in satiety and fullness was recorded following consumption of the 8 gram doses. Furthermore, ratings energy intake also tended towards significance.
Commenting on the mechanism, the researchers noted that animal studies have suggested a slowing in the rate of gastric emptying, meaning the stomach stays fuller for longer.
No effects on carbohydrate metabolism were recorded, not were any differences observed between the groups with respect to postprandial blood sugar levels.
“Insulin response was significantly increased with 8 g fenugreek fiber powder and requires further study,” stated the researchers.
The ingredient is said to be naturally sourced and manufactured from deodorized fenugreek and contains more than 75 percent soluble fiber.
"FenuLife can be an effective ingredient in weight management formulations," said Mathern. "Scientific literature points to many benefits of dietary fiber for weight management and this study has shown that FenuLife can have a significant positive effect in increasing feelings of fullness and reducing hunger."
Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, Early View, doi:
“Effect of Fenugreek Fiber on Satiety, Blood Glucose and Insulin Response and Energy Intake in Obese Subjects”
Authors: J.R. Mathern, S.K. Raatz, W. Thomas, J.L. Slavin