Olive Oil Suppresses Feelings Of Hunger
March 14, 2013

Trouble Sticking To Your Diet? Try Adding Olive Oil To Suppress Hunger

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

A lot of people shy away from certain diets because they are afraid of feeling hungry after they eat. However, researchers are now saying olive oil might be a good solution for that.

Researchers from Technische Universität München (TUM) studied four different edible fats and oils, including lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Study participants ate 500 grams of low-fat yogurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils each day for a three-month period. They found that olive oil had the biggest satiety effect.

"The olive oil group showed a higher concentration of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood. Subjectively speaking, these participants also reported that they found the olive oil yoghurt very filling," said Prof. Peter Schieberle, Head of the TUM Chair of Food Chemistry and Director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry.

He said the findings surprised the team because rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids, which suggested they should look at the aroma compounds in olive oil instead. For a second study, the researchers gave one group yogurt with olive oil aroma extracts and a control group plain yogurt. They found the olive oil group's calorie intake remained the same, while the control group consumed an extra 176 kilocalories per day.

"The aroma group adapted their eating habits — but the control group participants were obviously not able to do likewise," Schieberle said. "We also found that in comparison to the other group, the control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood."

They said how long the feeling of satiety lasts after eating depends on a number of factors, including blood sugar level. The faster blood sugar falls, the faster the somatic cells absorb glucose from the blood, and the sooner a person begins to feel hungry again. The team plans on investigating the aroma substances present in the oil for the next part of their study.

The team pointed out Italian olive oil contained larger amounts of the two aroma compounds than other oils used in the study from Spain, Greece and Australia.

“Our findings show that aroma is capable of regulating satiety,” concludes Schieberle. “We hope that this work will pave the way for the development of more effective reduced-fat food products that are nonetheless satiating.”

Olive oil has been proven to have plenty of other health benefits as well, including lowering the risk for stroke. In 2011, researchers wrote in the journal Neurology about a connection between olive oil consumption and lowering stroke risk. After a six-year study, the team found large consumption of olive oil cut the risk of having a stroke nearly in half in 7,625 French adults, age 65 and older.