Sublingual Spray Promotes Satiety?Thursday, September 17, 2009
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a signaling molecule that plays an important role in the regulation of hunger and satiety in the brain. Increasing brain serotonin levels, for e.g. with drugs like sibutramine or by eating foods rich in tryptophan (e.g. chocolate), can reduce hunger and increase satiety.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring amino acid that can be rapidly converted to serotonin and is marketed in many countries as a dietary supplement for use as an appetite suppressant. But the data on its efficacy is far from convincing.
Nevertheless, a study just published by Rondanelli and colleagues from the University of Pavia, Italy, in the International Journal of Obesity, suggests that a formulation of plant extracts naturally containing 5-HTP, delivered as sublingual spray, may increase satiety and promote weight loss in oveweight women.
A total of 27 otherwise healthy overweight women were randomized to either administering the extract or placebo five times a day for 2 months in a double-blind trial.
The group using the 5-HTP spray experienced a significantly greater increase in their sensation of satiety over an 8-week timeframe than the placebo group. Small differences were also found for the mean change in body mass index, skinfold thicknesses and hip circumference. No adverse effects were reported.
Based on these results, the authors suggest that this 5-HTP formulation may be safely used to control appetite.
Obviously, one would need to perform far larger and longer studies to demonstrate that this spray actually helps reduce and manage weight – but at least this study provides the rationale for this type of larger study.
Whether such a study actually gets done is doubtful, as the spray is already being marketed in Italy under the rather cute trade name, “Full-Fast” by a company called Medestea.
I wonder how long before we see this product in our stores?