Olive Oil Ingredient Reduces Hunger
An ingredient found within olive oil and other unsaturated fats has been found to prolong the time between meals.
A new study in the October Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press, reveals that once this type of fat, known as oleic acid, reaches the intestine, it is converted into a lipid hormone (oleoylethanolamide, or OEA) that wards off the next round of hunger pangs. The researchers said it may be the first description of an ingredient in food that directly provides the raw materials for a hormone's production.
The findings in rats may yield insight into the precise dietary makeup of fat and protein for optimal hunger control, the researchers said. (Protein plays in important role in limiting hunger as well, but by different means.) The newly discovered signaling pathway might also be tapped into with drugs designed to control appetite by supplementing OEA levels or blocking its breakdown. Similarly, in conditions where people don't eat enough, the researchers speculate that treatments targeting this system might improve the appetite.
It logically follows that a diet rich in saturated fats (and devoid of oleic acid) may accomplish the very opposite effect by throwing the metabolic system into disarray and prompting overeating.
Bring on the olive oil!
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