Last year a study conducted at LSU’s Penning Biomedical Research Center found that thylakoids in spinach extract can reduce feelings of hunger and longing for food, building on the science and market for spinach extracts in weight management.
The researchers used the branded Appethyl in their study, manufactured by Swedish company Greenleaf Medical, patented in the US last year and made entirely out of the thylakoids found in spinach. The ingredient will feature prominently in The Vitamin Shoppe’s new AppeFit powder.
“[Appethyl] is a fairly new ingredient. AppeFIT is the only product that the Vitamin Shoppe carries with appethyl,” a spokesperson from The Vitamin Shoppe told NutraIngredients-USA.
“As we approach summer, many consumers are focusing on their health and wellness goals, making it a great time to introduce AppeFIT, which offers innovative support to help consumers maintain a healthy diet,” she added.
Looking away from “diet” food
In recent years, market analysts have declared that many consumers think dieting is out, health and wellness is in. Numbers show evidence: diet soda sales plummet, and in The Vitamin Shoppe’s recent Q1 earnings call, CEO Colin Watts said that paltry weight management product sales contributed to the 1.9% decline of its first quarter results.
But by curbing hunger instead of promising fewer calories or fat burning abilities, AppeFIT’s more holistic approach is more like how weight management marketing is done these days. “AppeFIT is part of the Vitamin Shoppe’s Next Step line which is geared to those with the philosophy that a modified, ongoing healthy lifestyle can result in effective weight management with long-term results,” the spokesperson said.
Similar trends can be seen in the packaged food industry like when Lean Cuisine ditched “diet” for “wellbeing” in a rebranding campaign launched at the beginning of the year.
A closer look at the ingredient
Thylakoids in Appethyl can be found in many green plants. Studies have observed how it suppresses ghrelin, the hunger hormone. The powder must work with some fat, the website says, so it needs to be mixed with an oil of choice when blended in a smoothie.
“Thylakoids have been documented to delay fat digestion, which in turn will increase the amount of satiation hormones in our body,” the spokesperson said.
The ingredient’s website states that by extracting the thylakoids and putting it in ingredient form, it makes sure that “these actives are not stuck within the spinach cells as if one were to eat regular spinach, the product is therefore active, or bioactive, the moment it is ingested.”
The Vitamin Shoppe’s AppeFIT comes in two flavors, Apple Punch and Mixed berry. The 6.8oz tubs of powder retail for $29.99.