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Pomegranate May Reduce Hunger Pangs, Make Meals More Satisfying

Update Date: Jan 28, 2013 01:01 PM EST

Pomegranate has been hailed as a super fruit for years. Rich in antioxidants, which are believed to combat disease-causing free radicals, pomegranates have been shown in research to combat high blood pressure and reduce stress. Now, new research indicates that pomegranate has been shown to reduce hunger pangs and make meals more satisfying - good news for any New Year's revelers who have managed to stay on track with resolutions to lose weight.

According to the Daily Mail, participants in the study were either given a pomegranate supplement or a placebo to take daily for three weeks. The supplement contained the skin, core and seeds of the fruit. Then both groups - 29 volunteers - were given plates of pasta and tomato sauce. Before eating and for every 15 minutes up to two hours after the plate, the participants were asked to respond to a questionnaire that detailed their desire to eat, fullness, hunger and level of satisfaction with the meal.

The researchers from Queen Margaret University found that the people who had taken the pomegranate extract ate 22 percent less food than their placebo-taking peers, eating about 15.7 ounces of pasta compared to an average of 20.2 ounces of pasta in the placebo group. However, these same volunteers taking the pomegranate supplements reported receiving greater satisfaction from their food, reporting the meal as being tastier than the placebo group did. The group that had taken the pomegranate supplements also was reportedly 12 percent less hungry, 15 percent more satisfied, 16 percent fuller and had a 21 percent less of a desire to eat.

Researchers now plan to study pomegranates' source of satiety. They theorize that the pomegranate supplements contain polyphenol, which acts as an appetite suppressant.

Though the study was small and conducted over a very short time period, future studies may illuminate pomegranates' possible effect on weight loss.

The study will be presented at the International Congress of Nutrition Conference in Granada, Spain.

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