Can this food really reduce your appetite?

March 24, 2012
Volume 3    |   Issue 20

If you’re like me, you’re probably a little skeptical about products that claim to help you lose weight. There are so many that come and go, and the only thing that’s lost weight is your pocketbook. However, in 20 years in the complementary health industry, there’s one food that’s stuck around and really seems to work. And now a new study confirms what I’ve seen for years.

In this new study, researchers wanted to evaluate the effects of fiber on appetite. They looked at a particular type of fiber — flaxseed — in two different forms: liquid and tablet.

The researchers started the study by having 44 volunteers fast over night. Then they divided them into two groups. They had the first group of 24 drink either 2.5 grams of soluble fiber as a flaxseed beverage or a placebo. The second group of 20 took either the same flaxseed beverage or a flaxseed supplement containing the same amount of soluble fiber. Then the researchers measured all of the participants’ appetite (they used visual analog scales for the measurements).

Previous research on fiber has suggested it can suppress your appetite. And it didn’t disappoint in this study. The researchers said the flaxseed, regardless of the form you use, will suppress appetite far better than the placebo. Both the beverage and the supplement increased the feeling of fullness and significantly reduced the amount of food the participants ate after taking the fiber.

Natural fiber is one of the few appetite suppressants that isn’t a passing fad. It really does appear to work. Flaxseed is a good source of fiber. And it’s also a great source of essential fatty acids. So using flaxseed as a source of fiber will have additional benefits for your heart, brain, and overall health.

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You do have to be careful with flaxseed, though. If you don’t drink enough water with it, it can cause constipation. So whether you take flaxseed as a liquid or as a tablet, make sure you drink a lot of water. Also make sure the product you buy is guaranteed fresh. You don’t want a rancid supplement.

Regardless of whether you use flaxseed or other forms of natural fiber, it’s clear that fiber is one appetite suppressant that works. Do other suppressants work? Some do. Whey protein, for instance, also looks like an effective appetite suppressant. Studies suggest it reduces short-term food intake as well. I’m currently looking into this for a future alert.

And one of my favorites is PGX. This is a fiber supplement, but we don’t know what’s in it (the manufacturer won’t reveal its proprietary formula). There are a lot of studies on it, it’s been around a long time, and it has a strong reputation. Taken before a meal (like the flaxseed), it can reduce your appetite. Again, make sure you drink plenty of water. As with the flaxseed, you can find PGX at any health food store.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.


Ibrügger S, Kristensen M, Mikkelsen MS, et al. Flaxseed dietary fiber supplements for suppression of appetite and food intake. Appetite. 2012 Jan 5;58(2):490-495.

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