New study finds bitter plant extract suppresses food intake

10 June 2016

New research presented at the European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg by Plant & Food Research scientist Dr John Ingram shows that a New Zealand produced bitter plant extract supressed the food intake of clinical trial participants.

The MBIE funded study by Dr Ingram and colleagues Dr Ed Walker and Dr Kevin Sutton from Plant & Food Research, with collaborators from the University of Auckland, screened more than 900 plant extracts for their ability to stimulate the release of hormones involved in appetite regulation.

The research team found a number of compounds that triggered the effect, with one clear stand out. The highly bitter, non-nutritive plant derived ingredient was taken through to clinical trials, and is due to be detailed in a scientific publication later this year.

The Amarasate™ extract, as it is now being referred to as, showed in clinical testing to significantly increase concentrations of gut peptide hormones associated with satiety and decreased the energy intake of the participants on the trial.

“This isn’t a silver bullet for obesity, but we have found a natural compound that is able to activate one of the body’s own mechanisms for curbing appetite” says Dr Ingram

“There a lot more research to do in this area, but it’s exciting to have found a compound and proven the concept in a clinical trial already."

Dr Ingram and his colleagues are currently undertaking research to optimise the required dosage of Amarasate™ extract and are working with New Zealand industry partners to develop Amarasate™ extract into a supplement and functional food product. 

To read the European Obesity Summit media release click here

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
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