Is a Common Pine Nut a Solution to Western Obesity Epidemic?

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Pinolenic acid, a natural plant extract found in greater concentrations in the Korean pine acts on appetite hormones via the brain - cuts desire to eat in only 30 minutes... suitable for vegetarians

Pinolenic Acid, a natural plant extract, from the Korean pine nut (Pinus Koraiensis), has been shown to suppress appetite dramatically without causing harmful stimulatory side effects.

A form of polyunsaturated fatty acid it attacks the underlying mechanisms involved in hunger so effectively that the 18 participants in a recent study reduced their food intake by 36% and experienced a reduction in the desire to eat of 29%. The experiment also produced a significant increase in two hormonal appetite suppressors that send signals of “satiety” or fullness to the brain - cholecystokinin (CCK) which increased by 60% and glucagons-like peptide 1 (GLP1) of 25% that remained for up to four hours after eating.

[The experiment which was presented in a paper, “Korean pine nut fatty acids affect appetite sensations, plasma CCK and GLPI in overweight subjects” to the American Physiological Society in April 2006, by Alexandra Einerhand, director, nutrition and toxicology-Europe at Lipid Nutrition, a division of Loders Croklaan, Wormerveer, the Netherlands.]

In another recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (5 April 2006), the effects of calorie restriction on health biomarkers were measured in a group of overweight adults over a six month period.

In response to reduced food intake, fasting insulin levels plummeted – excess insulin acts as a death hormone that devastates virtually every cell and organ system in the body. Insulin overload increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, blindness, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related diseases.

The amount of weight lost in the groups that restricted their calorie intake – the moderate calorie restriction experienced a 24% reduction in body fat mass, while the very low-calorie group achieved a 32% reduction in fat mass.

This process of calorie restriction, at the same time as maintaining optimal nutrition, has been shown to radically extend life span in lower animals and primates. It is thought that this may also apply to humans.

Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle faced by anyone undertaking calorie restriction and trying to achieve sustained weight reduction in the nagging sensation of feeling hungry. Most people give into this craving and thus forgo the opportunity to reduce their risks for life-threatening diseases.

Obesity (defined as being 20% or more over "ideal" or "normal" weight for one's size) is now estimated to afflict 35-40% of adults in America.In the UK one in four adults is obese and the treatment of obesity-related illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, knee and hip operations cost theUK’s National Health Service more than $1.9bn last year.

Satiety is the sense of food satisfaction and fullness experienced after eating. Hunger and satiety both depend on a complex feed back loop involving many hormones and other substances secreted by the gut that interact with control centres in the brain. The gut participates in the hunger satiety circuit by secreting two important hormones, cholescystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), among others.

Cholecystokinin is recognised to suppress appetite in humans. When a partially digested meal rich in fats or proteins leaves the stomach to enter the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine), the duodenal mucosa cells secrete CCK. In turn CCK stimulates the pancreas to secrete numerous enzymes to help digest food. CCK also acts on the gallbladder to stimulate the release of bile into the small intestine, which helps emulsify and break down fats. Most important to appetite control, CCK acts to slow gastric emptying and to promote a feeling of fullness, thus suppressing further food intake.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 is another hormone that is intimately connected with fullness and satiety. Produced in the small intestine in response to fat and carbohydrates, GLP-1 works in part by activating what is known as the “ileal break” mechanism. This slows down the absorption of food in the gut, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety, and therefore limits the further desire for food intake.

GLP-1 also helps to control the health of pancreatic beta cells, which serve the crucial function of manufacturing insulin in the body. Abnormal beta cell function plays a key role in insulin resistance and scientists believe that therapies that boost GLP-1 levels could help alter the course of diabetes.

Pinolenic acid has been developed into a new supplement, Natural Appetite Control, available for the first time in the UK for adults seeking to lower their calorie intake and maintain a successful long-term weight management programme. Each softgel of new Natural Appetite Control provides 1000mg of a standardised extract of Korean pine nuts containing the highest concentration of pinolenic acid found in any pine nut species.

Pine nuts are used extensively in Mediterranean cookery, such as in Italian pesto, but the nuts of the Korean pine have a far greater concentration of pinolenic acid than those of European pine nuts.

The recommended daily dose of this all-natural vegetable-based (suitable for vegetarians) formula is three softgels taken 30-60 minutes before a meal with the highest calorie content. To reduce snacking, three softgels may be taken between meals. The best time to take this supplement may be in the evening, to reduce food intake before bedtime. Natural Appetite Control should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise programme. Results may vary.

Natural Appetite Control costs £15.30 for 90 softgels and is available from http:http://www.thevitalityshopuk.com Telephone enquiries: 0800 011 2496

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Anna Morris