12 January - 20 June 2016

Beneficial weight control achieved with consumption of spinach extract

1 July 2015

A paper published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discusses how consumption of a spinach based supplement may help with weight control. 

The nutritional supplement, Appethyl, developed by the University of Lund in Sweden and marketed through Greenleaf Medical is a spinach extract which is rich in thylakoids, the membranes found inside chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place. Thylakoids have been shown to slow the digestion of fats, thus increasing levels of satiety hormones such as cholecystokinin and decreasing the levels of hunger stimulating hormones such as ghrelin. 

In the latest study, sixty overweight and obese patients were given either a 5 g dose of the supplement or a placebo and regulated meal portions during a one day study. Those patients who were given the spinach supplement were shown to have reduced cravings for food, especially salty and savoury food types. Male subjects were also shown to consume on average 126 calories less than the control group. 

The information from this study also supports further trials that have been carried out, including 90 day studies. In these chronic weight loss studies, the participants (overweight women) in the non-placebo group were found to have between 43 and 51 % greater weight loss than those in the control group. Although from this study it was shown that the calorie consumption was only reduced by a relatively small amount, it is thought that this could have clinical significance as 90 % of weight gain in the adult US population is from an overconsumption of 100 calories per day.

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