Satiety is a big factor when it comes to weight management, and even digestion. That’s one of the big pushes toward proteinit keeps consumers fuller longer, among other perks. Thylakoids, obviously less well-known than protein, are the internal photosynthetic membrane system of green plants. And, by retarding fat digestion, they promote the release of satiety hormones. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, examined the effect of consuming a single dose of concentrated extract of thylakoids from spinach on satiety, food intake, lipids and glucose compared to a placebo (June 1, 2015).
Sixty overweight and obese individuals enrolled in a double blind, randomized crossover study consumed the spinach extract or placebo in random order at least a week apart. Blood was drawn for assessments of lipids and glucose before a standard breakfast meal, followed four hours later by a 5 g dose of the extract and a standard lunch. Visual analog scales were administered before lunch and at intervals until an ad libitum pizza dinner was served four hours later. Two hours after lunch a second blood draw was conducted.
Compared to placebo, consuming the spinach extract reduced hunger and longing for food over two hours and increased postprandial plasma glucose concentrations. There were no differences in plasma lipids and energy intake at dinner, but males showed a trend toward decreased energy intake. The researchers said, at this dose, the spinach extract containing thylakoids increases satiety during a two-hour period compared to a placebo. Thylakoid consumption may influence gender-specific food cravings.