Prebiotic may reduce appetite and calorie consumption in overweight, obese kids

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Obesity

Daily consumption of oligofructose-enriched inulin may help to increase feelings of fullness and lead to lower energy intake in overweight and obese children, says a new study.

Eight grams per day of Beneo’s Orafti Synergy1 ingredient were also associated with reductions in BMI after 16 weeks, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“[T]he results of this dietary intervention study highlight the potential of prebiotic supplementation in the management of pediatric overweight and obesity, with significant improvements in sensations of appetite and marked reductions in energy intake in children 11–12 years of age,”​ wrote researchers led by Professor Raylene Reimer at the University of Calgary in Canada.

The study was funded by BMO Financial Group, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“Beneo regards this research of highest importance”

The study’s findings were welcomed by Anke Sentko, VP of Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication at Beneo: “We are really excited about this research. Children are a focus for Beneo’s scientific research efforts, from newborn to adolescence,”​ she told us. “Childhood obesity is a global threat. In the US, about 17% of children and adolescents are affected. This research demonstrates that prebiotic chicory root fiber are a good, tasty and natural tool in the context of weight management measures, not only for adults, but also for children.”

Sentko added: “This study addresses overweight and obese children, significantly extending the body of evidence on human intervention studies related to chicory root fiber and their support in weight management efforts. The intake of 8g prebiotic inulin (Orafti Synergy1) in a glass of water prior to dinner is a simple dietary intervention that supports children in their weight management efforts. The results show that they were naturally eating less than the control group having maltodextrin.

“Bearing in mind how difficult it is for children to go on a diet and how important it is to find a balanced eating mode ​for the future of those overweight children, Beneo regards this research of highest importance.”

Study details

The Calgary-based scientists recruited 42 overweight and obese boys and girls aged between 7and 12 to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The children were randomly assigned to receive eight grams per day of oligofructose-enriched inulin or a maltodextrin placebo for 16 weeks.

Results showed that, compared to the placebo, calorie consumption decreased by about 113 kcal in 11 and 12 year-olds receiving the prebiotic, whereas energy intake increased by 137 kcal in children of the same age receiving the placebo.

In addition, levels of the satiety hormone ghrelin increased by an average of 28% in all the children in the prebiotic group after 16 weeks, compared to baseline levels, while levels in the placebo group only increased by about 8%.

Finally, BMI z scores decreased by about 3% more in the Synergy1 group, compared to placebo.

“BMI z score, also known as the BMI SD score, is a measure of relative weight and height adjusted for age and sex applied to a reference standard. These scores are considered to be more appropriate for determining longitudinal changes in body weight and adiposity while also being a superior measure for comparing between-group mean values,” ​explained the researchers.

“Additional studies are required to examine postprandial satiety hormone concentrations after a test meal to develop a better understanding of how prebiotics induce physiologic effects on appetite regulation in overweight and obese children,” ​they concluded.

Bone health, too

Beneo’s Sentko added that an earlier study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 8 grams per day of Orafti Synergy1 could support calcium absorption and increase bone mineral density in American adolescents. (Abrams et al. Journal of Pediatrics, 2007, Vol. 151, No. 3, pp. 293-8).

“The study results further supported a more healthy weight development during adolescence,”​ she noted.

“Orafti Synergy1 is available in the US market in consumer products and as food supplements in sachets. The latter is exactly the way it was used in the new study [by Hume et al.],”​ said Sentko.

Prebiotin​ for example is offering Orafti Synergy1 in sachets. Parents can start right away to support their kids in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. In addition, the kids’ microbiota and digestive health is positively supported.”

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140947
“Prebiotic supplementation improves appetite control in children with overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial”
Authors: M.P. Hume et al. 

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