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Health

New powder food supplement could stop 20 to 35-year-olds putting on two pounds a year 

Wednesday 02/January/2019 - 10:46 AM
File photo
File photo
Edited by: Yara Sameh

It is the time of year when many people are looking ruefully at their waistlines، daily mail reported.

But as the nation turns to detoxes and diets، a new food supplement could stop people gaining weight in the first place.

It is designed to tackle the ‘early-age spread’ which causes people aged 20 to 35 to put on an average of two pounds a year.

Already found to prevent middle-aged people piling on the pounds، the supplement comes as two teaspoons of white powder which can be added to a cold drink.

It works on the premise that people could become far thinner in the West if we ate like African tribesmen، by quadrupling the amount of fibre in our diet.

But as very few would manage the five to ten bowls of porridge needed daily to achieve this، experts at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow have created a supplement to trick the body.

The powder contains propionate، a natural compound produced when fibre is digested by bugs in the gut، and signals fullness to the brain.

Researchers are now recruiting young adults to test the supplement، which they believe will prevent snacking and food cravings.

Professor Gary Frost، co-leader of the study from Imperial College London، said: ‘People are very interested in middle-aged spread and rarely think about weight gain in younger adults، but what happens in someone’s twenties and thirties can set the pattern for later life.’

In tests of propionate so far، middle-aged overweight volunteers who consumed it daily with their meal were far less likely to pile on extra pounds.

The supplement is almost tasteless and researchers hope it could be added to bread and smoothies in the future.

Their idea came from studies showingvictori extreme high-fibre diets protect animals against gaining a lot of weight when they eat a high-fat diet.

But it is extremely hard to get people to consume more fibre، found most plentifully in wholegrain breakfast cereals، beans and pulses، berries and vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.

So instead they created a powder which tops up propionate by hijacking appetite-suppressing hormones. It is also thought to have an effect on the part of the brain which causes cravings.

The academics are recruiting from next month to find 270 men and women aged 20 to 35 in London and Glasgow so they can test their supplement on a them for a year.

It has not been found to have any side effects and costs less than £1 a day.

Dr Douglas Morrison، who is co-leading the research from the University of Glasgow، said that the latest trial ‘will recruit young adults since the evidence shows that – on average – people in this group gain that little bit of extra weight each year as they progress to become middle-aged and overweight.’

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