Life Extension Magazine 2013
Balancing Appetite Hormones to Reduce Hunger and Lose Weight
By Michael Downey
Groundbreaking human studies demonstrate that a proprietary extract of the Italian Borlotto variety bean modulates several appetite hormones, including ghrelin.1-5 Controlling hunger and satiety hormones can block hunger and increase feelings of fullness, ultimately promoting weight loss.1,3
In addition to regulating hunger hormones, this Italian Borlotto variety bean extract helps neutralize the alpha-amylase enzyme that converts dietary carbohydrates into sugars.2 This slows down and limits the absorption of glucose from the intestine.2
By safely rebalancing hunger hormones like ghrelin, this unique Italian Borlotto variety bean extract helps promote healthy weight reduction by reducing nagging feelings of hunger and the desire to overeat, while limiting glucose absorption.2
How Hunger Hormones Contribute to Obesity
Your body produces certain hormones whose job it is to tell your brain that you’re hungry—and when you’re full. As your stomach and intestines fill up with a meal, they secrete “satiety hormones” that tell your brain to shut off the desire to continue to eat.6,7
When your stomach is empty, your body produces the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain it’s hungry.6 Ghrelin acts on the same brain pathways that produce rewards from other pleasurable experiences, such as recreational drugs and sex.8
When ghrelin is over-activated, it induces food cravings even when we’ve eaten enough food. This is why some people feel “addicted” to eating—they are food addicts in the same ways that others become dependent on drugs or gambling.8,9
The irony is that the more obese a person becomes, the less sensitive they are to the “on/off” signals sent by their appetite-regulating hormones.10 This leads to increased food intake despite what should be normal “stop” signals. In fact, many obese individuals who diet and lose weight experience a ghrelin level increase, which triggers more hunger feelings, less “full” feelings—and worse, provides the brain with a feeling of reward when they eat.10,11
No wonder it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off!
A Healthy Approach to Weight Loss
Instead of shifting your focus from one fad diet to the next, a better approach to weight loss is to focus on rebalancing appetite and satiety hormones. By lowering ghrelin to reduce appetite and restoring sensitivity to satiety-inducing hormones, you’ll experience reduced hunger—and reduced psychological reward for consuming excess calories.
That’s what makes Italian Borlotto variety bean extracts such powerful weight loss promoters. These bean extracts have been shown to suppress ghrelin while promoting hormones that produce feelings of fullness.1-5 This in turn reduces food intake, body weight, accumulation of blood lipids-glucose, and the impulse that drives eating.12 Ghrelin suppression may also reduce the inappropriate addiction-like reward response when excess calories are consumed.8
Supplementation with a proprietary Italian Borlotto variety bean extract has produced impressive weight loss effects.2
In 2013, researchers compared the effects of eating a meal of Italian Borlotto beans (not the extract) to a meal of white wheat bread containing the same amount of available starch.5
Compared to the control meal, the bean meal resulted in decreased levels of the appetite-promoting hormone ghrelin and reduced hunger. Additionally, the people eating the beans had 15% lower glucose and 16% lower insulin levels.5 (Insulin levels are too high in most aging humans, which contributes to health problems and unwanted body fat storage.13)
Based on these results, the scientists reasoned that a concentrated and standardized Italian Borlotto variety bean extract should produce a much more potent effect.
Benefits for Healthy Weight Individuals
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 12 healthy, non-overweight volunteers took either a placebo or 100 milligrams of Italian Borlotto variety bean extract with a standardized meal after a 12-hour overnight fast.1 The study subjects then ate a normal meal.
Within three hours, the bean extract group experienced significantly lower levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin compared to the placebo group. Even more importantly, the group had less of a desire to eat and more of a feeling of fullness.1
And in the bean extract group, the increase in blood sugar was 41% lower than the placebo group 30 minutes after the meal. Between 45 and 120 minutes after the meal, the increase in insulin was 26% lower.1 These are important factors not only for weight management, but also for slashing risk of a number of degenerative and potentially fatal diseases.14-19
Lose Nearly 10 pounds in 12 weeks… Without diet or exercise!
Next, researchers investigated the weight-loss effects of Italian Borlotto variety of bean extract on overweight individuals.2 In a not-yet published study, 60 overweight participants with a body-mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30 took 200 milligrams of extract daily or received no treatment. No dietary changes were requested of the individual participants.
At the end of 12 weeks, the group receiving the Italian Borlotto variety bean extract showed the following improvements:2
- Reduction in total body weight of 8.8 pounds versus 0.2 pounds in the placebo group.
- Reduction of almost 2.5 inches in waist circumference versus 0.6 inches in the placebo group.
- Reduction in appetite levels from baseline values. The placebo group showed no improvement.
- Increase in satiety from baseline. The placebo group showed no improvement.
No significant adverse events or side effects were reported in the study.2
Inhibiting Carbohydrate Absorption
Appetite hormones aren’t the only factor undermining your weight loss attempts. Today’s carb-heavy Western diet can foil even the best efforts to maintain healthy levels of body weight.
Excess blood glucose leads to increased insulin—which contributes to greater difficulty burning stored body fat as fuel.20 It also causes the body to store more excess carbohydrate calories as fat. The result of rapid sugar absorption is high-risk, after-meal glucose surges and increased disease risk.14-19
In addition to its ability to rebalance appetite hormones, Italian Borlotto variety bean extract also impedes alpha-amylase, the enzyme that breaks down dietary starch that convert into simple sugars that are rapidly absorbed in the small intestine.2,3,8
By inhibiting alpha-amylase, Italian Borlotto variety bean extract impedes the breaking down of starches and slows the rate at which free sugars are absorbed, thereby blunting glucose spikes.8 This provides a practical approach to help lower glucose levels, improve age-related markers of health, and regain glycemic control.
When your appetite hormones are out of whack, they can sabotage even the best efforts to lose weight. Clinical studies demonstrate that a proprietary extract from the Italian Borlotto bean is a safe, effective nutritional supplement that modulates appetite by effectively blocking hunger while increasing feelings of fullness.2
Italian Borlotto variety bean extracts help neutralize the enzyme (alpha-amylase) that converts carbohydrate into sugar.2,3 This impedes the after-meal glucose surge that has been implicated in increased risks of a number of chronic, degenerative conditions.14-19
Based on clinical trial data, this new Italian Borlotto variety bean extract can help in achieving healthy body weight and optimizing glucose control, thereby reducing disease risks, improving appearance, and boosting longevity!
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
- Spadafranca A, Rinelli S, Riva A, et al. Phaseolus vulgaris extract affects glycometabolic and appetite control in healthy human subjects. Br J Nutr. 2013 May;109(10):1789-95.
- Irvine3 Vascular Laboratories & Microcirculation. Analysis of the results obtained from use of product Beanblock® in the treatment of overweight, 2013.
- Fantini N, Cabras C, Lobina C, et al. Reducing effect of a Phaseolus vulgaris dry extract on food intake, body weight, and glycemia in rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 14;57(19):9316-23.
- Carai MA, Fantini N, Loi B, Colombo G, Riva A, Morazzoni P. Potential efficacy of preparations derived from Phaseolus vulgaris in the control of appetite, energy intake, and carbohydrate metabolism. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2009;2:145-53.
- Nilsson A, Johansson E, Ekstrom L, Bjorck I. Effects of a brown beans evening meal on metabolic risk markers and appetite regulating hormones at a subsequent standardized breakfast: a randomized cross-over study. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59985.
- Available at: http://www.elsevierhealth.co.uk/media/us/samplechapters/9781416002451/9781416002451.pdf. Accessed September 25, 2013.
- Näslund E, Barkeling B, King N, et al. Energy intake and appetite are suppressed by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in obese men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Mar;23(3):304-11.
- Blum K, Gardner E, Oscar-Berman M, Gold M. “Liking” and “wanting” linked to Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): hypothesizing differential responsivity in brain reward circuitry. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(1):113-8.
- Kroemer NB, Krebs L, Kobiella A, et al. Fasting levels of ghrelin covary with the brain response to food pictures. Addict Biol. 2013 Sep;18(5):855-62.
- Perry B, Wang Y. Appetite regulation and weight control: the role of gut hormones. Nutr Diabetes. 2012 Jan 16;2:e26.
- Cummings DE, Weigle DS, Frayo RS, et al. Plasma ghrelin levels after diet-induced weight loss or gastric bypass surgery. N Engl J Med. 2002 May 23;346(21):1623-30.
- Carai MA, Fantini N, Loi B, et al. Multiple cycles of repeated treatments with a Phaseolus vulgaris dry extract reduce food intake and body weight in obese rats. Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(5):762-8.
- Gumbiner B, Polonsky KS, Beltz WF, Wallace P, Brechtel G, Fink RI. Effects of aging on insulin secretion. Diabetes. 1989 Dec;38(12):1549-56.
- Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Seshasai SR, Kaptoge S, et al. Diabetes mellitus, fasting glucose, and risk of cause-specific death. N Engl J Med. 2011 Mar 3;364(9):829-41.
- Crane PK, Walker R, Hubbard RA, et al. Glucose levels and risk of dementia. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 8;369(6):540-8.
- Sarwar N, Aspelund T, Eiriksdottir G, et al. Markers of dysglycaemia and risk of coronary heart disease in people without diabetes: Reykjavik prospective study and systematic review. PLoS Med. 2010 May 25;7(5):e1000278.
- Dudziak K, Regulska-Ilow B. The importance of glycemic load of the diet in the development of cancer. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2013 May 21;67:449-62.
- Brand-Miller JC. Glycemic load and chronic disease. Nutr Rev. 2003 May;61(5 Pt 2):S49-55.
- Howlett J, Ashwell M. Glycemic response and health: summary of a workshop. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;87(1):212S-216S.
- Choi SM, Tucker DF, Gross DN, et al. Insulin regulates adipocyte lipolysis via an Akt-independent signaling pathway. Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Nov;30(21):5009-20.