Flavoured crystals can ‘trick’ you into losing weight

November 8th, 2010 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 8 (IANS) A newly developed crystal, sprinkled on food for added flavour, can help you lose those extra pounds by tricking your brain into believing that you have consumed more food than the actual quantity.

The result of using the crystals is that smaller portions are eaten and the pounds just roll away, their creators say.

They have already been tested in the US as part of a weight-loss regime, and are set to hit Britain next year.

Initial trials on 1,400 people showed that the flavour enhancing crystals may act as an appetite suppressant, reports the Daily Mail.

The recipe for the crystals is not known. But one of its ingredients is maltodextrin - a carbohydrate made from corn starch, silica, tricalcium phosphate and soy and milk ingredients.

The makers say the crystals are sodium, sugar, calorie and gluten free and contain no stimulants, according to a Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation statement.

In tests, obese participants who used ‘Sensa Tastant’ crystals lost an average of 28 pounds in six months, compared to just two pounds for others.

Alan Hirsch, neurologist at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, US, said aroma makes up between 75 and 90 percent of what we experience as food taste.

“The scientific principle behind Sensa is remarkably simple,” he said. “As you eat, smell and taste receptors send messages to your brain which release hormones that tell your body it’s time to stop eating.”

“Because Sensa works with your body’s natural impulses, rather than against them, there are no feelings of hunger or intense cravings.

“Exercise is the biggest tool for weight loss, but if you help people lose weight in the first place, they automatically begin to take more exercise,” he said.

However, Dominic Dwyer, neuropsychologist from Cardiff University, UK, cautioned: “A mouth-watering smell from food can simply make us eat more. This stuff would have to be very carefully used.”

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