What are thylakoids?
Thylakoids are tiny structures that are found in the cells of green plants such as spinach. The role of thylakoids in these plants is to harvest sunlight (a process known as photosynthesis) which gives plants the energy they need to produce carbohydrates.
When extracted from spinach leaves and then concentrated, thylakoids have been found to be biologically active and offer specific health benefits to humans including significantly assisting weight management. There is a promising outlook regarding the potential benefits of spinach-derived thylakoids in managing obesity as well as its associated metabolic disturbances (1).
How do they help weight management?
Thylakoids have been found to suppress hunger and promote feelings of fullness. Researchers believe they do this by influencing two hormones that are important in the regulation of appetite; cholecystokinin and ghrelin (4).
Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract has also shown to alter digestion of fats and reduce the cravings for palatable food in overweight women (1, 3). There have also been improvements to insulin levels and further metabolic benefits seen. Overall, both weight loss and a reduction in body fat mass are the most significant changes that thylakoids have produced so far (1, 2).
What the research says:
A total of 6 human clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of thylakoids taken with breakfast or lunch can help to control appetite and manage weight in those that are overweight.
In a 2015 study, the participants who were given a thylakoid rich spinach extract had less hunger and a reduced longing for food. The researchers agreed that thylakoids seem to increase satiety, with participants feeling full and satisfied sooner than normal after eating a meal (3).
In the most recent clinical study in 2020, 48 females with obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome were given 5g per day of thylakoids alongside a calorie restricted diet. There were significant decreases in weight, waist circumference, fat mass as well as improvement to insulin levels (2).
Generally, the research shows that when individuals are given spinach-derived thylakoid as a supplement, it results in better weight loss outcomes and insulin sensitivity compared to calorie restriction alone. This low risk and cost-effective strategy may be a vital opportunity in how to approach managing obesity and weight related health issues.
Who will benefit from thylakoids:
People who are:
- Are always hungry and frequently snacking
- Want to reduce cravings for sugar and fat
- Struggle to maintain a healthy weight
- Need help maintaining a healthy balanced diet
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Thylakoids (the active ingredient in Slim Down™) have been clinically proven to suppress appetite, reducing cravings for foods high in sugar and fat and facilitate weight management by reducing snacking and meal size.
1. Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Landin-Olsson M, Erlanson-Albertsson C (2015). Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite; 91:209-19.
2. Tabrizi FPF, Farhangi MA, Vaezi M, et al, (2020). The effects of spinach-derived thylakoid supplementation in combination with calorie restriction on anthropometric parameters and metabolic profiles in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutr J;19, 82.
3. Rebello, Candida J et al, (2015). “Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial.” Journ of Amer Col Nutr; vol. 34,6;470-7.
4. Köhnke et al, (2009). Thylakoids promote release of satiety hormone cholecystokinin while reducing insulin in healthy humans. Scandinavian Journal Gastr; 44;712-9.