Fish protein shows appetite suppression, weight management potential

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Fish protein shows appetite suppression, weight management potential
Protein from blue whiting fish may promote the production of gut hormones associated with suppressing appetite, and may aid weight management, suggests new research from France.

Results from cell studies showed that the fish protein may promote the secretion of appetite suppressing cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), while feeding lab rats with the protein produced weight loss, according to findings published in the Journal of Functional Foods​.

“The biological effects of CCK and GLP-1 stimulating peptides may potentially lead to promising therapeutic applications of this blue whiting hydrolysate in health and nutrition related markets,”​ wrote the researchers from ProBioGEM, the CNRS and the Compagnie des Peches Saint Malo Santé.

“Moreover, in the global context of marine resource depletion it could be of economical and ecological interest to promote the development of fish by-products upgrading.”

Market potential

With the World Health Organization estimating that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, the opportunities for a scientifically-substantiated weight management product are impressive.

The slimming ingredients market can be divided into five groups based on the mechanisms of action – boosting fat burning/ thermogenesis, inhibiting protein breakdown, suppressing appetite/boosting satiety (feeling of fullness), blocking fat absorption, and regulating mood (linked to food consumption).

The market for food, beverage and supplement weight management products is already valued at $3.64bn (2009 figures) in the US, according to Euromonitor. In Western Europe, the market was worth $1.3bn in 2009.

Boosting satiety has been a focus of numerous nutritional approaches, with gut hormones PYY, CCK and GLP-1 common targets.

Fish potential

The new study suggests that protein hydrolysates from blue whiting muscle could enhance the secretion of CCK and GLP-1 in cells.

The French researchers went on to test the fish protein in lab rats. The animals were given 500 microliters of water supplemented with 0, 50, 100 and 250 milligrams per milliliter for 12 days. Results showed that short term food intake (four days) was significantly reduced, but no significant difference between the groups was observed over the entire 12 day period.

Further analysis showed that both CCK and GLP-1 increased in the lab animals receiving the higher doses of the fish protein.

“The decrease in the short term food intake observed with [blue whiting muscle hydrolysates], which is potentiated by the gastrointestinal hormones, may finally lead to a reduction in the body fat mass after 15 days of administration.

“Further experiments will be necessary to confirm the assumption that the chronic administration of [blue whiting muscle hydrolysates] preload on a long time period leads to a diminution of body fat mass via a diminution of long term food intake,”​ concluded the researchers.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2011.12.003
​In vitro and ​in vivo evidence for a satiating effect of fish protein hydrolysate obtained from blue whiting (​Micromesistius poutassou) muscle”
Authors: B. Cudennec, M. Fouchereau-Peron, F. Ferry, E. Duclos, R. Ravallec

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