As if we needed another reason to believe that food is good medicine, it turns out spinach extract has lots of powerful effects on blood sugar, satiety, and cravings. You’re probably wondering when we’re going to see a similar study about chocolate or wine. Just remember, drinks and desert do not make a meal. Add some spinach and at the very least, you’ll be on the right track .
Spinach Leaf Extract Found to Suppress Appetite, Increase Meal Satisfaction
Study Published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition
August 5, 2015, CLEARWATER, FL––The nutritional value of spinach is well documented. The vegetable is rich in crucial vitamins A, C, E, and this versatile food that can be sauteed, used as the foundation for a salad, or be an essential ingredient in a festive party dip.
A key element of spinach is thylakoids, a photosynthetic membrane of chloroplasts. In a new study (http://bit.ly/1Da1ONr), a team of medical and nutritional researchers measured subjective satiety (the feeling of being full after eating) ratings and food intake after a single dose of thylakoids from a patented spinach leaf extract, and measured them against participants who consumed a placebo.
They found that a single supplement of five grams of the extract increased satiety measured subjectively over two hours. Adding the extract to the diet may influence food cravings by acting on the brain’s reward system thereby offering a unique way to address the issue of weight gain in a manner that is convenient for the public.
The study, “Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial,” is published online in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Sixty overweight volunteers (30 male and 30 female) were enrolled in a double-blind randomized crossover study who consumed the spinach extract or placebo in random order for at least a week apart. The spinach extract was mixed with standard beverages but not with the placebo.
Hunger, fullness, desire to eat, satisfaction, thirst and an appetite for sweet, salty and savory foods were assessed. Blood was drawn to assess baseline fats and sugars before a standard breakfast meal, which was followed four hours later by a five gram dose of the spinach extract and a standard lunch. Other measurements were taken to assess appetite satisfaction before lunch and at regular intervals until a dinner was served four hours later.
The researchers found that when compared to a placebo, a single dose of five grams of thylakoids increased appetite satisfaction measured subjectively over two hours. That satisfaction was accompanied by a greater increase in the after-dinner blood sugar response.
The spinach extract contained concentrated thylakoids extracted from spinach leaves. By interacting with fats and retarding fat digestion, thylakoids membranes are believed to promote the release of satiety hormones and reduce the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. This may lead to a release of a mechanism for increasing appetite suppression.
The study also suggests that thylakoids supplementation may influence food cravings by acting on the reward system of the brain. “As obesity remains a critical impediment to good health for millions of Americans, these findings might offer one solution to over-eating, a critical cause of unwanted weight gain,” according to the authors. “Reducing the desire for salt may be particularly helpful for those with high blood pressure,” they add.
The research team was composed of Candida J. Rebello, Robbie Beyl and Frank L. Greenway, all of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, La.; Jessica Chu, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La.; Dan Edwall, Greenleaf Medical AB, Stockholm, Sweden; and Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Appetite Regulation Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
The study was funded in part by a grant from Greenleaf Medical AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
About the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) publishes original and innovative research articles, commentaries, and other data about nutrition which is useful for researchers, physicians, and other health care professionals. The journal is published six times per year and is the flagship publication of the American College of Nutrition.
– See more at: http://www.americancollegeofnutrition.org/content/spinach-leaf-extract-found-suppress-appetite-increase-meal-satisfaction#sthash.xcoU0DWc.dpuf
Low education, smoking, high blood pressure may lead to increased stroke risk
Adults smokers with limited education face a greater risk of stroke than those with a higher education, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
The combination of smoking and high blood pressure increased stroke risk the most, confirming earlier findings in numerous studies.
In a multicenter Danish study, researchers defined lower education as grade school or lower secondary school (maximum of 10 years) education.
“We found it is worse being a current smoker with lower education than a current smoker with a higher education,” said Helene Nordahl, Ph.D., M.S.C., study lead author and researcher at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. “Targeted interventions aimed at reducing smoking and high blood pressure in lower socioeconomic groups would yield a greater reduction in stroke than targeting the same behaviors in higher socioeconomic groups.”
Researchers divided 68,643 adults (30-70 years old) into low, medium and high education levels and assessed smoking and high blood pressure levels. They found:
- Sixteen percent of men and 11 percent of women were at high-risk of stroke due to low education level, smoking and high blood pressure.
- Men were more at risk of stroke than women, and the risk of stroke increased with age.
- Ten percent of the high-risk men and 9 percent of the high-risk women had an ischemic stroke during the study’s 14-year follow-up.
- Smokers with low education had a greater risk of stroke than smokers with high education regardless of their blood pressure.
“Universal interventions such as legislation or taxation could also have a strong effect on stroke in the most disadvantaged,” Nordahl said. “We need to challenge disparities in unhealthy behaviors, particularly smoking.”
Researchers weren’t able to consider differences associated with ethnicity because 98 percent of the participants were Danes.
“The distribution of stroke risk factors may vary across various contexts and study populations,” Nordahl said. “However, since the most disadvantaged groups are often exposed to a wide number of stroke risk factors, it seems plausible that these people are at higher risk of stroke not only in Denmark, but also in other industrialized countries.”
Vitamin B Supplementation, Homocysteine Levels, and
the Risk of Cerebrovascular Disease
A meta-analysis published in Neurology indicates that Vitamin B supplementation to lower homocysteine levels significantly reduces the incidence of stroke events.
Objective: To perform a meta-analysis on the effect of lowering homocysteine levels via B vitamin supplementation on cerebrovascular disease risk.
Methods: Using clinical trials published before August 2012 to assess stroke events, we used relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to measure the association between B vitamin supplementation and endpoint events using a fixed-effects model and χ2 tests. We included 14 randomized controlled trials with 54,913 participants in this analysis.
Results: We observed a reduction in overall stroke events resulting from reduction in homocysteine levels following B vitamin supplementation (RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.86–1.00; p = 0.04) but not in subgroups divided according to primary or secondary prevention measures, ischemic vs hemorrhagic stroke, or occurrence of fatal stroke.
There were beneficial effects in reducing stroke events in subgroups with ≥3 years follow-up time, and without background of cereal folate fortification or chronic kidney disease (CKD). Some trials that included CKD patients reported decreased glomerular filtration rate with B vitamin supplementation.
We conducted detailed subgroup analyses for cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) but did not find a significant benefit regarding intervention dose of vitamin B12 or baseline blood B12 concentration.
Stratified analysis for blood pressure and baseline participant medication use showed benefits with >130 mm Hg systolic blood pressure and lower antiplatelet drug use in reducing stroke risk.
Conclusions: B vitamin supplementation for homocysteine reduction significantly reduced stroke events, especially in subjects with certain characteristics who received appropriate intervention measures.
- Yan Ji, MD,
- Song Tan, MD,
- Yuming Xu, MD,
- Avinash Chandra, MD,
- Changhe Shi, MD,
- Bo Song, MD,
- Jie Qin, MD and
- Yuan Gao, MD
Vitamin B-12 Fact Sheet
The Top 10 Foods Highest In Vitamin B-12