Inulin-Propionate Ester (IPE) is a naturally made supplement. Inulin is a fiber that our body breaks down when it digests food. Propionate is released by our body when inulin is fully digested, which signals to the brain to reduce hunger and appetite. The supplement, IPE could theoretically be used as sort of a shortcut in the food-eating process. The idea is that, if there is more propionate released in the body, then hunger will decrease quicker. If you are one to find it difficult to stop snacking, then this supplement may just be a simple solution for you.

Reducing hunger -- and fat

In a study, two groups were taken to a buffet. One group was given the IPE supplement, while the other was not. After each individual finished their meal, it was revealed that the group that was given the IPE had eaten 14% less than the other group. In the same study, the researchers had a follow-up trial 24 Weeks after the first in which they measured each group’s amount of fat throughout their bodies. During those 24 weeks, the IPE group had been regularly taking the supplement. What the researchers found was that the IPE group had less fat around both their liver and their abdomen than the control group did. Because of this specific experiment, the implications and benefits of IPE are being researched, and might someday become a supplement that anyone can buy.

This could make dieting much easier and, possibly, more affordable.

Switch off those pesky cravings

In a different study, researchers did the same general experiment, but wanted to find out why it worked. So, 20 volunteers were all given milkshakes. Half of the milkshakes contained IPE, and the other half contained just the lone fiber, inulin.

To test and measure the volunteers' cravings, the researchers used MRI scans on each individual after they had consumed the milkshake. Participants were shown pictures of food, ranging from very high in calorie to low. Analysis of the results showed that the folks that had the IPE in their milkshake had less brain activity, but only when they saw the high calorie foods.

Essentially, the IPE had effectively decreased appetites for high calorie and unhealthy foods.

Decrease weight gain

In yet a different study, over a six-month period, individuals added either IPE or inulin to their meals, depending on which group they belonged to. The results showed that the IPE group gained less weight over the six-month period than the inulin group. The researchers concluded that IPE works the way it does because it turns off, or inhibits, the reward centers of the brain.

IPE sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately, one can't simply go out and buy it. Some say that it should be released as a supplement for the average consumer, and others say it should added to all foods, which would effectively decrease obesity rates across the globe. Until a consensus is reached, the future of IPE will remain unclear.