When used in animal feeding, the majority of evidence indicates a role for propionate in decreasing feed intake.
Although anorectic effects of propionate have been extensively documented in ruminants and other farm animals, evidence
in humans is scarce. In general, human studies show a beneficial effect of bread products added with high doses of
sodium propionate on postprandial glucose and insulin responses as well as on satiety. The lowered glycemic response to
ingestion of sodium propionate-enriched breads appears to be related to a lowered gastric emptying rate. However, low
doses of oral propionate in a palatable form do not seem to significantly influence appetite and food intake, suggesting
that the optimal palatability-to-efficacy ratio remains to be determined. Because of the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes
and other related metabolic diseases, it is of great importance to identify food components that promote low glycemic
and insulinemic indexes. On the basis of the favorable metabolic effects noted, the use of propionate offers new avenue
to innovate in the production of low glycemic index food products with less acidic characteristics than a fermented
product or a product with the added corresponding acids. Although propionate shows promises as a candidate to increase
satiety-enhancing properties of food and potentially reducing subsequent energy intake in humans, more research is urgently
needed to determine whether the properties of propionate can be useful in obesity management.
Keywords: Appetite, food intake, glycemia, metabolism, obesity, propionic acid, short-chain fatty acids, obesity management, satiety-enhancing properties, food products
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