Best Appetite Suppressing Ingredients
Many ingredients used in weight loss products claim to suppress the appetite, meaning that they make you feel fuller for longer. This article will look at the most popular appetite suppressing ingredients.
When designing weight loss products, manufacturers aim to use the best, most effective ingredients so that they stand out against their competitors. Some dietary supplements are advertised as targeting specific areas of weight loss, while others are more general, using a range of different ingredients that claim to target all areas of weight loss.
There are generally 4 key areas of weight loss that weight loss products aim to target, and these include fat burning, metabolism boosting, appetite suppression and carbohydrate blocking. This article will focus on ingredients that specifically claim to suppress the appetite, using clinical evidence to indicate how effective they are.
What is an appetite suppressant?
Appetite suppression, also known as ‘satiety’, refers to the state of being ‘full’ or not feeling hungry. This may be a physical process or a psychological process, as detailed below, and certain foods, drinks and ingredients are said to aid in promoting satiety.
The way appetite suppressing ingredients aid in weight loss is fairly obvious, as they ideally encourage users to eat less as their hunger is essentially curbed. Many appetite suppressants are said to target and regulate blood sugar, and this is believed to reduce sugary cravings, a problem that many dieters struggle with.
Unlike ingredients that claim to burn fat, boost metabolism or block carbohydrates, appetite suppressants rely on the individual in order to work effectively. While they may reduce hunger and make you feel fuller, you still have the option to eat more and snack on unhealthy food, and so willpower is still a key part of the equation.
How do ingredients suppress the appetite?
Appetite suppressants are generally consumed in the morning before meals so that they have time to enter the body and do their job. As mentioned earlier, there are generally 2 different ways in which appetite suppressing ingredients work at promoting satiety. The first method involves the ingredient physically making you feel fuller.
While this is perhaps the less common way, it involves the ingredient entering the body and expanding in the stomach so that it actually makes you feel fuller. The idea is that you consume the ingredient before eating and then the next time you eat you’ll become fuller much quicker because the ingredient has expanded, and this potentially encourages you to eat less.
Alternatively, and perhaps more commonly, some ingredients claim to suppress the appetite psychologically. This is when the ingredient stimulates the stomach after it enters the body, and they allegedly send signals to the brain to make it think you’re fuller than you perhaps are, and this is said to subconsciously encourage you to eat less.
Furthermore, some ingredients claim to regulate levels of blood glucose in the body. This is believed to have various benefits to the body, but it’s also said to have the potential to reduce sugary cravings. Many dieters fail at improving their diet due to cravings for unhealthy snacks and junk food. However, some ingredients release hormones like insulin into the body, it may reduce cravings for sugary snacks, and this may help improve your diet.
Similarly, some ingredients are said to have psychological effects in terms of improving the mood, and this is believed to have a potential benefit in terms of suppressing the appetite.
Lots of people comfort eat when they’re feeling down, and unhealthy food is often a vice for people when their mood is low. However, some ingredients elevate the release of hormones such as serotonin, which is one of the most common mood-regulating hormones found in the body. Therefore, it’s said that regulating levels of serotonin in the body may improve mood, and reduce the risk of comfort eating and subsequently gaining weight as opposed to losing it.
Appetite suppressants are generally taken in the morning and/or before meals, as this gives them time to enter the body and do their job, whether it’s to have a physical effect of expanding in the stomach or if it psychologically promotes satiety by releases hormones and sending signals to the brain.
Which are the best appetite suppressing ingredients?
Yerba mate is a plant, and its leaves are used to make tea. This beverage is said to be particularly popular in South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. As well as claiming to treat a number of medical conditions, yerba mate is said to have antioxidant effects that have the potential to reduce obesity and suppress the appetite, as well as being used to cleanse the body.
It’s unclear as to how exactly yerba mate is said to suppress the appetite, although it’s believed that yerba mate tea was consumed by South Americans in times of drought and famine because it was easy to make and was convenient, and it’s said to be packed with enough nutrients that you get from food. Yerba mate also contains the stimulant caffeine, which is said to perhaps have a short-term effect on appetite and satiety.
A sample of mice were used in the following study to determine the effect that yerba mate had on appetite/food intake. The mice were divided into groups where they received yerba mate in doses of 50 or 100 mg/kg of body weight for 3 weeks. Results found that as well as reduction in body weight, fats and adipose tissue, there was also a decrease in food intake.
However, due to its caffeine contents, there are believed to be some risks associated with yerba mate, at least when it’s consumed in large doses or too regularly. However, the doses found in most weight loss products aren’t likely to be high enough to produce any adverse side effects.
Hoodia gordonii is a leafless, succulent cactus-like plant native to African countries such as Namibia and South Africa, where it grows in the Kalahari Desert. It appears that the main use of hoodia gordonii is to suppress the appetite, and there are supposedly no other uses either medically or in cosmetics.
It’s said that hoodia gordonii suppresses the appetite because it contains a chemical called ‘P57’, and while it’s advertised as an appetite suppressant, it isn’t clear as to how it does it.
Human evidence on hoodia gordonii is limited, although studies and reviews have been conducted on the plant which suggests that it may reduce food intake. However, the following animal studies look at the effectiveness of the plant as an appetite suppressant, as well as its safety and any potential risks and side effects associated with it.
This study used a sample of 22 female New Zealand white rabbits who were administered extracts of hoodia gordonii in doses of 0, 3, 6 or 12 mg/kg of body weight, and the study took place 3-28 days after mating. Results found that only the rabbits consuming the higher doses of 6-12mg/kg saw a reduction in food intake and a decrease in weight gain, and none of the rabbits experienced any adverse side effects.
Another study by the same researchers followed the same protocol, but this time they used a sample of female mice who consumed the hoodia gordonii extract in doses of 0, 5, 15 or 50 mg/kg from gestation days 5-17. These results found that while there was a slight reduction in food intake and weight gain in the mice consuming the 15mg dose, the 50mg group saw a much more significant reduction.
Again, there appeared to be no adverse side effects, although the mice consuming the higher doses of 15-50 mg/kg saw a reduction of uterus weight and fetal weights, and the development of some small bones was reduced and slowed down.
However, these results may not reflect the impact that hoodia gordonii has on humans, and it’s said that there are concerns regarding the manufacturing of hoodia gordonii products, as many companies claim to produce extracts of the plants to promote satiety and aid in weight loss, but the ingredient used isn’t actually hoodia gordonii, and is therefore fake.
Glucomannan is a natural sugar created from the root of the Konjac plant, although it’s ground down to be used in various supplements and medicinal products. While glucomannan is used as a thickening agent in food, it’s also used in weight loss products, as well as to treat blood sugar, type-2 diabetes, cholesterol and constipation.
Unlike many ingredients that claim to suppress the appetite, glucomannan is believed to have a more physical effect on the body. It’s said that glucomannan is a soluble fibre, and this means that it can’t be digested. Therefore, it simply remains in the stomach and takes up room so that it takes a smaller amount of food to fill you up, and this potentially reduces your food intake.
While there’s evidence to suggest that glucomannan has an impact on weight loss, there appears to be a distinct absence of studies focusing solely on glucomannan and its effects on appetite. However, one study looked at the treatment of constipation in pregnancy, and they were given daily sachets containing glucomannan and lactulose for 1-3 months.
Results found that the product not only treated the constipation, but it also seemed to control excessive food intake and weight gain, and they claimed that this was due to the glucomannan, implying that it may be shown to have satiety inducing effects.
In terms of weight loss, ginger is believed to contribute in various ways; as well as being a diuretic, it’s also said to have stimulant-like properties to burn fat and boost metabolism using thermogenesis, and it’s also claimed to improve the digestive system.
However, ginger root is also said to suppress the appetite, and it allegedly does this psychologically by releasing stimulants into the body. These stimulants supposedly target the stomach, and they’re then said to send signals to the brain to make it think you’re fuller than you are. Theoretically, this is meant to discourage you from overeating and/or snacking on unhealthy foods.
The following study included a sample of 10 men who were divided into 2 groups; both groups consumed a breakfast meal, but only 1 of the groups was given a hot beverage containing 2g of dissolved ginger powder in it. Participants recorded subjective reports of hunger at hourly intervals while resting state energy expenditure was measured before and 6 hours after consumption, and blood samples were taken 3 hours after consumption.
Results found that while the ginger had no significant effect on energy expenditure, glucose, insulin or lipids, it did have a dramatic ‘thermic effect’ on food, showing a great reduction in reports of hunger, food intake, and high reports of fullness compared to the control group.
Garcinia cambogia is a plant native to India and other parts of southeast Asia, and its fruit rind is used in medicine because it contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Perhaps the main use for garcinia cambogia is for its alleged weight loss properties, as many dietary products on the market focus specifically on this ingredient.
Garcinia cambogia is believed to promote satiety psychologically. It’s said that this ingredient elevates levels of the hormone ‘serotonin’ in the body. Serotonin is known for its alleged impact on mood, and it’s believed to reduce cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. In addition, lots of people resort to ‘comfort eating’ when they’re stressed or when their mood is low; therefore, by improving mood, users may be less likely to overeat or give into unhealthy cravings.
The following study was split into 2 separate studies: one was an animal study while the other used 60 human volunteers. The human study lasted for 8 weeks and saw the subjects consume a diet of 2000 calories per day, as well as participating in a 30 minute walking exercise 5 days a week.
Furthermore, participants consumed either a placebo or a supplement providing 2800mg of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) three times a day, 30-60 minutes before meals. Results found that as well as a reduction in body weight, BMI, cholesterol and triglycerides, food intake was also significantly reduced, indicating that garcinia cambogia may be effective in suppressing appetite.
In conclusion, there’s a selection of ingredients that claim to promote satiety either physically or psychologically. It’s hard to tell whether ingredients that physically suppress the appetite are more or less effective than those that allegedly do it by releasing hormones and sending signals to the brain, but clinical evidence appears to support both methods.
Overall, if you need help in preventing cravings and reducing your food intake, appetite suppressants may be an option. There are many products that target appetite specifically, while others claim to target multiple areas of weight loss. You may benefit from choosing products that contain the ingredients listed in this article, but it’s important to remember that healthy weight loss requires a healthy diet and regular exercise.
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