Yes, you can switch cravings off. There are several ways to do it, but researchers have found a novel one that naturopathic doctors have known for years.This treatment approach is based on a molecule produced by gut bacteria that reduces cravings for high-calorie foods. Scientists from the Imperial College of London and the University of Glasgow discovered the secret. Participants consumed a milkshake that contained inulin-proprionate ester or a fiber type called inulin.
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When we ingest inulin fiber our gut bacteria release a compound called propionate which signals the brain that we are full. It reduces our appetite. And inulin-propionate ester supplements released much more propionate in the intestines than solo inulin. The inulin-propionate combination reduced cravings for high-fat foods even more. Inulin-propionate ester milkshakes stimulated less brain activity areas linked to reward so high-calorie foods became less appealing.
When study participants drank the inulin-propionate ester milkshake they ate 10% less pasta even when they could eat as much as they wanted to in the study. A previous study showed that when inulin-propionate ester was added to participant's food, they gained less weight over a six month period as compared to those who only added inulin to their food.
Bottom line: Inulin-propionate ester in supplemental form decreased brain activity in areas associated with food reward and reduced the amount that participants ate. The intestinal microbiome and how we feed those microbes with fiber is critical for optimal living.