News - FOS – an aid to weight loss?
Fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) is a type of prebiotic fibre that is extracted commercially from chicory roots. Traditionally used to favour the growth of friendly bacteria, new data published by researchers at the University of Maastricht suggests that FOS may also be a useful aid to weight loss.
To carry out the study, the scientists recruited a total of thirty-one healthy subjects in their late 20s with a BMI of around 24.8 kg/m2. The subjects were then randomised to receive 10g FOS, 16g FOS or 16g of a dummy powder daily for 13 days. In between each 13-day stretch of treatment, there was a two-week washout period before the groups were swapped over. At the beginning and end of each treatment period, the participants’ energy consumption and appetite-regulating hormone levels were tested.
When the results were analysed, the energy consumption of those taking the higher dose of FOS had decreased by 11%. What’s more, FOS use was associated with higher levels of satiety hormones, possibly explaining the participants’ reduced food intake.
Although the study period wasn’t long enough to demonstrate weight loss among the volunteers, it would be reasonable to expect weight loss to follow if the reduction in energy intake continued.
Verhoef SP et al. Effects of oligofructose on appetite profile, glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY3-36 concentrations and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jun 17:1-6.