Spinach extract could help prevent obesity, study shows

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014. Filed under: Food & Dining Health & Fitness


(STOCKHOLM-AFP) – A natural compound hidden away in spinach has been shown to reduce food cravings between meals and could help prevent obesity, a Swedish scientist said on Monday.

Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, a professor of appetite regulation at Lund University, found the compound, known as thylakoid, while looking for ways to slow digestion and alleviate hunger pangs.

The compound functions differently to processed foods, which tend to be digested only in the upper intestine.

This prevents key hormones that make us feel full from being released to the brain, according to a statement from the university.

“I like to say our intestines are unemployed,” Erlanson-Albertsson said.

A test group of 15 people who took the compound every morning reported that it had become easier to resist the temptation to eat between meals.

Erlanson-Albertsson discovered the compound after speaking to her husband, a scientist researching photosynthesis.

He steered her in the direction of thylakoids, a compound in green leaves believed to slow down fat digestion, meaning the whole intestine has time to get involved, the university said.

But eating spinach itself is not enough. It has to be crushed, filtrated and passed through a centrifuge, freeing the thylakoids from the plant’s cells.

“Our bodies can’t break it down from fresh spinach directly,” the university said.


Share Button

Related posts

Study probes best method to get your kids to eat more veggies64% of global consumers now cut certain ingredients out of their dietsUS kids eat 3x times too much added sugar: health groupKeep an eye on pregnancy food cravings to avoid excess weight gain advises new studyTop foods for healthy eyesJunk food and fat can cause similar damage to the body as type 2 diabetes finds new studyRaspberries identified as potential natural anti-inflammatoryFill up on flavonoids to help manage weightThe quantity of food we eat depends on the action of a hormone: StudyA man’s weight can affect his sperm’s genetic makeup8 top foods for healthy eyesNutritional value more important than calorie count for heart health: studySoybean oil worse for your health than coconut oilTrim the fat for happiness, says latest diet researchAvoiding snacking could help protect the heart, study suggestsCut down on sugar: WHOForgo the midnight snack, get away with daytime splurgesFiber supplements could help with weight loss: studyUS beverage giants vow to cut calories to fight obesityJunk food makes rats lose interest in varied foods: study