In this article we are going to discuss one of the more direct methods of losing weight: appetite suppression.
There are many products on the market which promise results, using appetite suppression as the sole mechanism of action or including it in a multi-functional approach.
With that, we are also going to show you some examples of the hard science behind the claims that are made about these products.
What Is Appetite Suppression?
From a general perspective, appetite suppression is a physiological and/or psychological means by which hunger levels are reduced.
It’s most often applied to the cravings for junk food or empty calories, so that the subject only eats healthy foods, and the amount of calories necessary for their goal, be it weight loss, muscle gain or simple maintenance of their current body mass index.
From a supplementation angle, appetite suppression is the introduction of an external ingredient or compound which can aid the above mechanisms.
How Does An Appetite Suppressant Work?
There are various ways by which appetite suppression can be facilitated through the use of something you ingest.
There is a very direct approach, such as glucomannan – or konjac root – which when taken with water, swells inside your stomach. The correct dosage and appropriate amount of water will create the perception of comfortable satiety.
This sort of mechanism is useful to an extent. Sometimes you are hungry or craving snacks for emotional reasons. The taste and sugar will elicit feelings of happiness. Glucomannan may not be much use in this case.
Something which improves mood, for example, may be more effective for preventing the emotional ‘comfort eating’ trigger in the first place.
Appetite suppression is by definition a preventative measure, i.e. a way to stop the calories even entering your system. In many ways it is the most effective tool for dieting, as you do not have the complexity of eating the calories, then having to use the energy to expend them – such as with thermogenic fat burners.
Certainly, for less active people, appetite suppression is just an extension of calorie control, and possibly the only way to really lose fat effectively.
We’ve already talked about glucomannan but it isn’t technically an ingredient which causes a ‘reaction’ by the body.
Those that do have such an effect are perhaps the more interesting.
5 hydroxytryptophan is a precursor to seratonin and increases its amount quite effectively as it skips one of the rate limiting steps that are intrinsic of the seratonin cycle.
Three clinical studies have supported the appetite suppression capabilities of 5-HTP with notable significance.
The referenced study below showed a 38% decrease in calorie intake over 5 weeks. It led to healthy and significant weight loss.
Ceci F(1), Cangiano C, Cairella M, Cascino A, Del Ben M, Muscaritoli M, Sibilia L, Rossi Fanelli F. – The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects. – J Neural Transm. 1989;76(2):109-17.
The next study was conducted over 12 weeks using a quite substantial dose of 900mg. The results included a reduction in food intake and decreased body weight.
Cangiano C(1), Ceci F, Cascino A, Del Ben M, Laviano A, Muscaritoli M, Antonucci F, Rossi-Fanelli F. – Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. – Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Nov;56(5):863-7.
Lastly, the study referenced below lasted just two weeks but nonetheless resulted in less food intake (particularly carbohydrates) and statistically significant weight loss.
Cangiano C(1), Laviano A, Del Ben M, Preziosa I, Angelico F, Cascino A,Rossi-Fanelli F. – Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. – Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Jul;22(7):648-54.
We will continue to add more articles which cover the ingredients and the scientific backup they may have.
We’ll do this for appetite suppression, fat burning and other compounds, natural and synthetic.
For now, it seems 5-HTP is a good place to start. If you find it in a supplement, it will not only help suppress your appetite but it will increase your mood levels (this is why it helps suppress carb cravings) and even help you to sleep better at night.