October 07, 2008
Oleic Acid Decreases Appetite In Rats

Over half of olive oil is a fatty acid called oleic acid, which at least in rats boosts production of a hormone that decreases hunger.

A fatty acid found in abundance in olive oil and other "healthy" unsaturated fats has yet another benefit: it helps keep the body satisfied to prolong the time between meals.

A new study in the October Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press, reveals that once this type of fat, known as oleic acid, reaches the intestine, it is converted into a lipid hormone (oleoylethanolamide, or OEA) that wards off the next round of hunger pangs. The researchers said it may be the first description of an ingredient in food that directly provides the raw materials for a hormone's production.

The findings in rats may yield insight into the precise dietary makeup of fat and protein for optimal hunger control, the researchers said. (Protein plays in important role in limiting hunger as well, but by different means.) The newly discovered signaling pathway might also be tapped into with drugs designed to control appetite by supplementing OEA levels or blocking its breakdown. Similarly, in conditions where people don't eat enough, the researchers speculate that treatments targeting this system might improve the appetite.

Importantly, diets high in processed foods that are riddled with saturated fats might throw a wrench into this system of metabolic control, the researchers said.

Olive oil also contains phenolic compounds which are suspected of providing additional health benefits.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 October 07 11:50 PM  Brain Appetite


Comments
Fat Man said at October 8, 2008 5:17 AM:

Doesn't work in humans. I have tried. lord knows, I have tried.

Mirco said at October 8, 2008 8:00 AM:

Maybe it don't work because:
"Oleic acid makes up 55-80% of olive oil, though there may be only 0.5-2.5% or so as actual free acid"
Olive oil with too much free Oleic Acid are not allowed to be sold by the law (more than 4%).

Faruq Arshad said at October 8, 2008 10:13 AM:

Micro,what's the reason oilve oil with more than 4% Oleic acid can't be sold? Seems an odd law.

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