Leads for the development of satiety-inducing foods

29 March 2016 – Fat, carbohydrates and proteins – in the distal small intestine – activate satiety signals which reduce food intake. This is the key insight from the PhD research.

Today, professionals researching overweight and obesity are still searching for the Holy Grail. Current weight-management strategies have proven difficulties. “The activation of satiety signals, via targets in the small intestine, could be a promising alternative strategy”, says Ripken. “Earlier research shows that fats in the ileum – the distal part of the small intestine – activate satiety-inducing processes.”

Fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Ripken’s project – part of TiFN’s Nutrient sensing project – was the first to investigate the effects of multiple macronutrients. She administered safflower oil (lipid mixture), casein (protein), sucrose (carbohydrate) and Reb A (Rebaudioside A: a steviol glycoside 200 times sweeter than sugar) to a porcine ex vivo intestinal segment model. “Pig intestines are similar to human intestines”, she explains. Ripken measured release of satiety hormones GLP-1 and PYY, and the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin. She also conducted – in collaboration with her colleagues from Maastricht University – two placebo-controlled studies with human volunteers, to learn more about these macronutrients’ effects on ad-lib food intake and satiety signals.