Inulin-polyphenol innovation may offer weight loss opportunities

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Weight loss Obesity

A combination of inulin fibre, green coffee polyphenols, and nut polyphenols could help with weight loss, in addition to promoting digestive comfort, according to its inventor.

Daniel Sincholle, a Montpellier, France-based researcher, told NutraIngredients that preliminary consumer tests have shown 80 per cent positive responses. Moreover, there is no ‘yo-yo effect’, he said.

A patent application has been made in France, and scientific data is available to support the claims, said Sincholle. Interested parties could license the patent and formula, he added.

A wider market view

The slimming ingredients market can be divided into five groups based on the mechanisms of action: increasing energy expenditure; modulating carbohydrate metabolism; increasing satiety or suppressing appetite; increasing fat oxidation or reducing fat synthesis; and blocking dietary fat absorption.

The retail market for weight management products was estimated by Euromonitor International to be worth US$0.93bn (€0.73) in Europe in 2005 and $3.93bn in the US.

Following 20 years as a researcher and 20 years in pharmacology, Sincholle authored a book in 2007 called Le guide conseil de tous les aide-minceur​ (The guide to slimming aids). For this he studied 150 products and came to the conclusion that only four or five were truly effective.

“There is not a lot of products in the market that work,”​ he said. “And with the epidemic of obesity and overweight, this makes for a colossal market.”

Indeed, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the US alone.

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine​ reported 90 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women will eventually become overweight.

“It is incredibly difficult as a professional to help people lose weight,”​ he said. “You can help them lose five kilograms in one month, but they put it back on the month after.”

The picture was muddied by the arrival of Alli on the market – GSK’s orlistat weight loss-drug.

Formulation and doses

Following his research for Le Guide​, he set about work on the formulation. The final composition, while guarded, does include inulin, coffee and nut polyphenols. Since being overweight or obese is characterised by low-level inflammation, the fibre-polyphenol combination is said to work against the inflammation. It also boosts digestive comfort and can be maintained over time, he said.

Evidence already exists in the literature for the potential of fibre, including inulin, to help with weight loss. Earlier this year, Canadian scientists reported results of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showing that Beneo Orafti’s Beneo P95, for example, could enhance weight loss in overweight and obese adults (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​, Vol. 89, pp. 1751-1759). Another study in children showed that supplements of inulin/oligofructose resulted in a much lower increment in BMI over the one year (Journal of Pediatrics​, Sept. 2007, Vol. 151, pp. 293-298),

A dose of 4.5 grams twice a day is required for the effects, said Sincholle. Given the size of the dose, it is offered as a sachet to be added to water, a soup stock, or it could easily be formulated into yoghurt, he said.

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