Spinach has long been considered as a companion of very healthy diet. Now, researchers from Lund University in Sweden have proved that taking green extract of spinach increases weight loss and decreases food craving.
The principal ingredient is membrane called thylakoids contained in the chloroplast that imparts the green colour to the leaves. This thylakoid can be extracted by crushing the leaves and centrifuging it.
|A vectorised version of File:Chloroplast-new.jpg. A diagram showing the simple structure of a chloroplast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It is fund that if it is taken prior to the breakfast there is a decreases hedonic hunger up to 95% -- and increase in weight loss up to 43%.
This happens because of the feeling of satiety and suppression of hedonic hunger, vs homeostatic hunger that deals with our basic energy needs.
Modern processed food is broken down so quickly that the hormones in the intestines that send satiety signals to the brain and suppress cravings cannot keep up.
The green leaf membranes slow down the digestion process, giving the intestinal hormones time to be released and communicate to the brain that we are satisfied.
A prolongation of fat digestion and concomitant release of satiety hormones and reduction of hunger peptides cause the effect.
Thylakoids bind to the pancreatic lipase-colipase complex resulting in the reduction of lipolysis (fat breakdown) by preventing contact of the enzyme complex to the lipid substrate.
Sooner or later the thylakoids themselves are degraded by proteases and the body will eventually take up the fat. However, by this time the satiety induced by the prolongation of the digestion process results in a net reduction of food intake.
Thylaloids contain phospholipids and proteins. The main components of the thylakoids that are responsible for the reduction of lipolysis are the hydrophobic transmembrane polypeptide chains of the protein complexes of the membrane.
Thylakoids are the place where photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts. They are responsible for the light reaction whereby light is captured and its energy converted to chemical energy in the form of ATP and NADPH concomitant with the development of oxygen.
|Thylakoid disc with embedded and associated proteins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The thylakoids are made up of over a hundred of membrane proteins which together with pigments, chlorophyll and carotenoids, and membrane lipids, mainly galactolipids, form a highly complex membrane system that not only carries out electron transport and ATP synthesis but also harvest light, with the help of the pigments in a very efficient way.
In addition the thylakoids have a very ingenious system of repair and antioxidants for protection against damage caused by light and oxidative stress. Thylakoids are probably the most complicated of biological membranes. They are the most abundant of all biological membranes on earth.