Everyone loves desserts and sugary drinks, but the problem with eating too much sugar is that it is extremely unhealthy and adds nothing to the nutritional value. While all previous studies considered sugar to be linked with increased appetite and obesity, this new study has estimated that it may not be true and sugar may actually lower appetite.
The consumption of sugar is extremely high in some countries of the world. In Germany, Austria, and its surroundings, the yearly intake of sugar, per person is between 33kg to 34 kg which is a lot. Eating a high amount of sugar makes it impossible to maintain a healthy weight. However, it is still not clear how sugar changes a person’s daily dietary intake, independent of how many calories are inside it.
The research team from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) worked on identifying the role of sugar in appetite increasing or lowering. They conducted a blinded and cross-over study with respect to glucose and sucrose intake. 27 men, all between 18 years and 45 years of age were a part of this study. They were given 10% sugar or 10% sucrose solution every day or some 60 ppm of lactisole which is a substance with acts like sugar and induces a feeling of sweetness. These are all different types of sugar and all of these sugar products were nearly the same in their energy content.
After two hours of giving these sugar solutions, the participates were asked to consume breakfast according to their liking. During this 120 mins (2 hours period) their blood samples and body temperature were measured.
Those who consumed lactisole plus sucrose solution experienced a higher energy intake with the breakfast, which was recorded to be nearly 13%, which is approximately 100 kilocalories than sucrose solution alone. All of these people experienced a lower body temperature and their plasma serotonin levels were also lowered.
For those who don’t know, serotonin is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that has many roles to play. One of which is playing the appetite suppressing role for the body. Surprisingly, the research team didn’t notice any difference among participants who were given lactisole-added glucose and without lactisole solution.
These results suggest different results as before; irrespective of the energy value sucrose sugar has a role to lower appetite by acting upon the sweet receptors. It is still not confirmed why the same results were not observed with the glucose consumption but the research team assumes there might be other mechanisms independent of the receptor role.
Interestingly, these sugar receptors are also located inside the digestive tract and there is very little information on their role in the GI tract. Although this study concludes that sugar can lower appetite but its explanation requires more studies on taste receptors, binding of glucose and fructose, and satiety regulation by the body.
The complete study is now published in the journal Nutrients.