When you’re presented with an abundance of tasty food, it can be hard to stop eating, even when you’re full. But help may be on the way for those lacking in self-control — in a new study in the journal Gut, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow claim in a new paper that overweight study volunteers given a substance called propionate, which the researchers believed would cause chemical changes in the gut leading to feelings of fullness, gained less weight over the course of 24 weeks than a control group.
It appears to have worked, at least in this relatively small study. Among the 24 participants in the supplement group, just one gained at least 3 percent of their initial body weight during the course of the study, as compared to six in the control group. Moreover, four members of the control group gained at least 5 percent of their baseline weight, while none in the propionate group did. In a separate study involving an all-you-can-eat buffet, members of the control group ate significantly more, on average, than those who had been given propionate.
We’ll see if this leads to new diet products hitting the market in the long run. In the meantime, before these futuristic pills arrive, it’s a useful reminder that it might be a good idea to stop eating when you’re full.