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Tackling obesity: How yeast hydrolysate can suppress appetite and promote weight loss

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Obesity is a complex disease and a growing health problem.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing other health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In 2020, it was estimated that around 38% of the world's population aged five years and older were overweight or obese; this figure is expected to reach 51% by 2035.1​ As well as reducing quality and length of life among populations, the pressure it puts on healthcare systems comes at a huge cost: the annual healthcare cost of obesity-related illness in the USA alone is $147 billion.2

Global obesity rates have been on the rise for decades. More recently, widespread disruption to routines and lifestyle deterioration caused by the COVID-19 pandemic challenged diets and exercise regimes, prompting cases of food addiction and binge eating behavior in some regions.3

However, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that obesity is having. A 2022 survey carried out in 34 countries found people ranked obesity as the fifth biggest health problem facing their country, behind COVID-19, mental health, cancer and stress.4 ​In the aftermath of the pandemic, there has been a focus on weight management by those seeking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The good news? Obesity is preventable through exercise and diet management, and this growing awareness around healthy eating is driving the global diet market and opportunities for manufacturers.

Yeast hydrolysate for appetite regulation

Eating behavior is complex, affected by a myriad of external and emotional factors, but recognising ‘fullness’ is key in order to regulate appetite. So how to create satiety – the feeling of fullness – and promote weight loss? 

To answer this, first we need to understand how the body recognizes fullness. Leptin and ghrelin are hormones produced by the body that can influence appetite and satiety. Leptin, an anorexigenic, suppresses food intake, thereby promoting weight loss. Ghrelin, on the other hand, is an orexigenic and fast-acting hormone, and plays a role in meal initiation.5

The mechanisms by which these ‘hunger hormones’ have an influence on energy balance has been widely studied. ​Medical research has examined yeast hydrolysate as a way to promote physiological activity with anti-obesity effects.

Among the body of research is a randomised, placebo-controlled study of obese female adults aged 20-28 years.6​ It found those in the two groups who consumed pouches containing yeast hydrolysate (HY-1 and HY-2) experienced a significant decrease in body weight and BMI after six weeks of treatment – an outcome which suggests yeast hydrolysate can have beneficial properties as a weight-loss supplement. The study also found that weight loss was evenly distributed throughout the body. As well as reduction on abdominal fat, there was reduced skinfold thickness in areas including hips, waist and arm triceps.

Another study which examined the effects of yeast hydrolysate on body weight and abdominal fat accumulation in obese adults found that yeast hydrolysate reduced body weight, BMI and the accumulation of abdominal fat by week 10, without an adverse effect on lean body mass in obese adults, via the reduction of energy intake.7

An ingredient to weight loss

As the anti-obesity effects of yeast hydrolysate have become better understood, its commercial development as an ingredient to promote weight loss has grown. Furthermore, studies have concluded that yeast hydrolysate can be use an anti-obesity material after heat treatment, rendering it suitable as an ingredient in biochemical and medical manufacturing.8

DNF-10®​ is a yeast hydrolysate manufactured by Neo Cremar since 2008. It is made by extracting the contents of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast, a key ingredient in baking, wine making and brewing for thousands of years), and hydrolyzing the proteins and isolating peptides with average molecules below 10,000 DA.

It is a natural, safe and effective weight loss ingredient, backed by a raft of clinical studies to support its efficacy in promoting the feeling of fullness and reducing inclination for food intake, in turn promoting weight loss and reduction in accumulation of abdominal fat. Its mechanism in the body decreases ghrelin and increases leptin and improves lipid metabolism and inhibits fatty acid synthesis (the creation of fatty acids).

A study into the effects of DNF-10® ​in eight-week-old mice found that it increased leptin and decreased ghrelin concentrations in the blood, and dietary intake significantly decreased one hour after administration.9

Another study in obese-induced mice for eight weeks measured the effects of orally administered DNF-10®​ at high concentration with a high fat diet, compared to a general diet test group. Weight gain was shown to decrease in the intake group, despite the high fat diet, and showed that lipogenic enzymes were at a low level and fat-digesting steatolytic enzymes were at a high level. Consequently, lipogenesis was more suppressed in the DNF-10®​ intake group than the general diet group.10

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Above: Jung EY.; Cho MK.; Hong YH.; et al7

Meanwhile in humans, clinical studies have shown that the average dietary intake of obese male and female adults consuming capsules containing DNF-10®​ of 1g for six weeks was 392.38kcal per day lower than that of the control group over a 10-week period.7​ The total abdominal fat area in the yeast group was significantly lower than in the control group after the 10 weeks (P < 0.01), with significant decrease in the abdominal fat thickness and abdominal circumference compared to the control group. ​Furthermore, the CT scan in this study showed a reduction in not only abdominal fats but also visceral fats, stored around the organs including the liver and intestines, and typically harder to reduce than abdominal fats.  

Even low dose of yeast hydrolysate supplementation (0.5g per day) may induce a significant reduction in weight and body mass index in obese women via the reduction of calorie intake, another 8-week study concluded.11

Safe weight loss over time

Unlike other weight loss supplements which promote fast-action weight loss results, the effects of DNF-10®​ on the body is gentler, resulting in a slower process over a longer period of time. In May 2023 DNF-10® ​manufactured by Neo Cremar received a No-Questions Letter issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). The ingredient’s safety is a significant competitive advantage over other products. A toxicity evaluation by single dose (5,000 mg / kg) and repeated administration (1,000 mg/kg for 90 days) of DNF-10®​ in rats was found to be comparatively non-toxic; an earlier safety study found that yeast hydrolysate with below 10kDA molecular weight had very low toxicity.12,13 

Saccharomyces cerevisiae occurs naturally in nature and plays a key role in human food and nutrition, being rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and proteins. DNF-10®​ has been shown to have no side effects – such as diarrhoea and headaches – commonly associated with weight loss products, thereby offering peace of mind to both manufacturers and consumers.

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 Above: Jung EY.; Cho MK.; Hong YH.; et al7

DNF-10®​ has been found to help reduce weight by reducing body fat while maintaining muscle weight (lean body mass). This is important because preserving muscle mass during weight loss is essential. Muscle not only keeps the body fit and strong, it also protects against disease and boosts mortality. It can even help to prevent rebound weight gain since losing muscle can slow the metabolism and reduce the body’s ability to burn calories and therefore prevent the ‘yoyo effect’ of gaining weight after dieting.

A study evaluated the effects of yeast hydrolysate YH on muscle differentiation and muscle atrophy inhibitory activity in C2C12 cells and atrophy inhibitory activity in a dexamethasone (DEX)-induced muscle atrophy mouse model. Although further research is needed, in this study yeast hydrolysate was shown to promote muscle cell differentiation and inhibit DEX-induced muscle atrophy through in vitro and in vivo experiments. Yeast hydrolysate prevented skeletal muscle loss and concluded that yeast hydrolysate can be used for the development of functional foods that inhibit muscle atrophy while promoting muscle differentiation.14

Future directions: applications and formulations

Today DNF-10®​ is manufactured on a large scale, its efficacy supported by a growing body of clinical studies and technical data. Formulation options for manufacturers include pills and capsules, as well as potential opportunities to explore and expand into applications across the functional snack bar and beverage sectors.

DNF-10®​ has long been exported from Korea to countries including the USA, UK, Japan, China, Europe and to South East Asia where the ingredient has been used to create a range of products, appreciated by consumers for reliable effects that are underpinned by science. 

Neo Cremar continuously strives to improve the efficacy and quality of DNF-10®​. As well as receiving GRAS No question letter from FDA, Neo Cremar is investing into research and studies to understand more about the ingredient's profile, mechanism and health benefits. A new study – much anticipated by Neo Cremar’s entrusted partners who have used DNF-10®​ over the years – is expected to be published towards the end of 2023.

As the global markets continue to tackle the scale of obesity and its impacts on populations, and the weight loss market continues to grow, choosing an ingredient that is both safe and effective will give manufacturers the competitive edge that will empower consumers to manage their weight safely and effectively.


1. Statista​ (June 2023).
2. ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity​ (July 2022).
3. Amicis​ R.; Foppiani​ A.; Galasso​ L.; et al. (2022). Weight Loss Management and Lifestyle Changes during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Matched Italian Cohort Study​. Nutrients​, 14​(14), 2897.
4. Percentage of adults worldwide who stated select issues were the biggest health problems facing people in their country in 2022​. Statista (2022).  
5. ​Klok M.; Jakobsdottir S.; Drent M. (2007). The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans: a review​. Obes Rev.  Volume 8, Issue 1:21-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00270.x. PMID: 17212793.
6.​ Jung E.; et al. (2008) Weight Loss Effect of Yeast Hydrolysate on Obese Young Women. J Clin. Biochem Nutr Supplement 43 1-3.
7. ​Jung EY.; Cho MK.; Hong YH.; et al. (2014) Yeast hydrolysate can reduce body weight and abdominal fat accumulation in obese adults​. Nutrition. Volume 30, Issue 1: 25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.02.009. PMID: 24290594.
8.​ Park Y; Kim JH.; Lee HS.; et al. (2012)  Thermal stability of yeast hydrolysate as a novel anti-obesity material​. Food Chem.  Volume 136, Issue 2 :316-21. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.047. Epub 2012 Aug 30. PMID: 23122064.
9. ​Hong K.; Jung EY, Kim JH.; et al. (2015). Yeast hydrolysate as a functional anti-obesity ingredient: appetite suppressive effects of yeast hydrolysate in food-deprived mice​. Progress in Nutrition 17, 262-264.
10. ​Hong K.; Jung E.; Kim J.; et al. (2015). Yeast hydrolysate as a functional anti-obesity ingredient: appetite suppressive effects of yeast hydrolysate in food-deprived mice​. Progress in Nutrition. 2015 Oct. 20; Volume 17, Issue 3: 262-4.
11​. Jung E.Y.; Lee J.W.; Hong Y.H.; et al. Low Dose Yeast Hydrolysate in Treatment of Obesity and Weight Loss​. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2017 Mar;22(1):45-49. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2017.22.1.45. Epub 2017 Mar 31. PMID: 28401087; PMCID: PMC5383141.
12. ​Yejin Ahn.; Singeun K.; Hyung Joo Suh.; et al. (2021). Toxicity Evaluation by Single and Repeated Administration of Yeast Hydrolysate DNF-10​.
13​. Safety study of yeast hydrolysate with below 10 kDA molecular weight in animal models​.
14.​ Yeok BC.; Yejin A.; Hyung JS.; Kyungae J. Yeast hydrolysate ameliorates dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy by suppressing MuRF-1 expression in C2C12 cells and C57BL/6 mice​. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 90, 2022,104985, ISSN 1756-4646.