• Can a Black Pepper-Based Drink Reduce Feelings of Hunger? — Chromatography Investigates

Can a Black Pepper-Based Drink Reduce Feelings of Hunger? — Chromatography Investigates

Jun 04 2018 Read 1225 Times

Obesity is a growing worldwide issue. The World Health Organisation (WHO), report that obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016 almost 2 billion adults are classed as overweight, with 650 million classed as obese which is 13% of adults classed as obese. Obesity causes the deaths of more people than being underweight.

Undoubtedly, overeating is a large cause of obesity. But recent research also suggests that genetics might play a part too. Reducing the number of calories taken into the body and exercising more can help people reduce their weight. Scientists are also investigating how they can help people eating too much.

Store cupboard basics may help

Recently published research suggests that a basic store cupboard ingredient could have a role to play in the fight against obesity. In a paper published in the journal Food & Function — Black pepper-based beverage induced appetite-suppressing effects without altering postprandial glycaemia, gut and thyroid hormones or gastrointestinal well-being: a randomized crossover study in healthy subjects — investigated the effect of a black pepper drink on glycaemia.

Postprandial glycaemia — it’s a sugar thing

As discussed in the paper, ‘Humans spend the majority of their day in a postprandial state, with fluctuating glycaemia and lipaemia after every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and inter-meal snacking)’. Glycaemia simply means the presence, or level, of glucose in the blood and lipaemia refers to high levels of lipids in the blood.

Postprandial — the period after eating — glucose levels can fluctuate after a meal. Postprandial hypoglycaemia means glucose levels drop — a sugar crash, while hyperglycaemia is an increase in glucose levels in the blood. These conditions are of concern for people who suffer from diabetes — but they can occur in people who do not have diabetes.

Dynamic energy balance

Studies have shown that plant based phenolic compounds can help to modulate blood glucose levels. The study referred to above is one of the first to examine the effect of a black pepper-based drink on glycaemia and appetite. The drink’s bioactive compounds were characterised using high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UHPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS) — the use of chromatography to analyse plant samples is discussed in the article Utilisation of LC/MSMS (QTRAP) and Polarity Switching for the Quantitative Analysis of Over 300 Pesticides in Crude QuEChERS Extracts from Various Fruit and Vegetable Matrices.

The team found nine compounds in the drinks that were of interest. And although they found no change in blood glucose and serum insulin responses due to the drink, a reduction in appetite was noted. As they state the drink “modulated overall acute appetite by lowering ‘hunger’, ‘desire to eat’, and ‘prospective consumption’, and increasing ‘satiety’ and ‘fullness’”. So perhaps black pepper can reduce your appetite, thus helping in the fight against obesity.

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