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Compound May Help Reduce Weight Gain

In early testing, a new compound appeared to help reduce weight gain, researchers said. The compound contains propionate. This is a fatty acid that is created when fiber breaks down in the colon. Among other things, propionate appears to play a role in suppressing appetite. Researchers created a compound of propionate and inulin, a plant fiber.  Twenty healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to drink either this compound or inulin alone in fruit juice. Then they were told to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet. People who got the propionate compound ate about 14% less than the other group. The next phase of the study lasted 24 weeks. This time, people 60 overweight adults were assigned to receive either the propionate compound or inulin.  In all, 49 completed the study. Of the 25 who took the compound, 1 person gained more than 3% of body weight.

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