Soluble fibers may curb hunger and counter inflammation in overweight people: Human data

By Stephen Daniells

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Image: © iStockPhoto / monkeybusinessimages
Image: © iStockPhoto / monkeybusinessimages

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Prebiotic supplements may reduce appetite, food intake, and inflammation in overweight adults, says a new study from France.

Increasing doses of alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (alpha-GOSs) led to increasing effects on food intakes and appetite measurements, as well as on levels of the inflammatory biomarkers, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and C-reactive protein (CRP), according to findings published in the Journal of Nutrition​.

The researchers, led by Fanny Morel from Olygose S.A.S. in France, also assessed the effect of the degree of polymerization of the alpha-GOS and found that the composition did not influence the results.

“Consumption of alpha-GOSs over 14 days dose-dependently reduced appetite, food intake, and inflammation in overweight adults with no impact of alpha-GOS composition,” ​wrote the researchers. “Consequently, alpha-GOSs appeared to promote long-term weight loss and mitigate metabolic disorders.”

The study used the Olygose’s CravingZ’Gone ingredient, and the company sponsored the study.

Study details

Morel and her co-workers recruited 88 overweight adults aged between 18 and 60 to participate in their two double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trials. For the first study, the researcher investigated the effect of dose on satiety, energy intake and marker of inflammation by randomly assigning participants to consume tea made with 6, 12, or 18 grams per day of the alpha-GOSs for 14 days.

For the second trial, the researchers investigated if the composition of the alpha-GOS would affect these end points, and assigned the participants to consume formulas with 12 grams per day of alpha-GOSs of different compositions (degree of polymerization of 2, 3, or 4) again for 14 days. A control group receiving glucose syrup was used for both trials.

Results showed a dose-dependent effect on satiety, meaning the higher the dose the greater the effect. A dose-dependent effect was also observed for changes in energy intake, with the higher the dose producing greater reductions in energy intake for a test meal at day 0 and day 15.

On the other hand, the satiety effects were not affected by alpha-GOS composition, said the researchers.

“Because food consumption was also lower during the ​ad libitum meal after the consumption of a mix of alpha-GOSs for 15 days than after placebo consumption, we conclude that a-GOSs exerted both an impact on satiety (appetite between 2 meals) and satiation (fullness and appetite during a meal),”​ wrote the researchers.

LPS and CRP levels also decreased in a dose-dependent manner, and again no effect of the composition of the alpha-GOS was observed.


Analysis of the microbiota revealed that the alpha-GOS interventions led to significant increases in bifidobacteria levels, compared with the control group. Again, the composition of the alpha-GOS did not affect the response.

Importantly, all of the doses of alpha-GOS were well tolerated, said the researchers.

“In the present studies, the extent of the reduction in body fat was low, so the involvement of fat loss in the reduction in inflammatory tone was unlikely,” ​wrote the researchers. “Our favored hypothesis is the involvement of intestinal microbiota in improving gut barrier function. Notably, we showed herein that alpha-GOS components, independently of their degree of polymerization, could stimulate bifidobacteria growth.

“However, further studies designed to characterize the microbiota are needed to test this hypothesis. Whatever mechanisms are involved, the reductions in inflammatory tone represent a beneficial trait of alpha-GOS consumption.

“Therefore, its 3 major effects – reductions in food intake and inflammation and weight loss – could be potentially exploited to help prevent or treat metabolic syndrome,”​ they concluded.

Source: Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/jn.114.204909
“Alpha-Galacto-oligosaccharides Dose-Dependently Reduce Appetite and Decrease Inflammation in Overweight Adults”
Authors: F.B. Morel, Q. Dai, J. Ni, D. Thomas, P. Parnet, P. Fanca-Berthon

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1 comment

Title misleads

Posted by Rhonda Witwer,

Your article title is very misleading. This story is about alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides, which is one specific dietary fiber. The conclusions of this study cannot be broadly applied to all soluble fibers, some of which are minimally fermented and cannot possibly deliver these benefits. Please be more specific.

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