Effects of thylakoid intake on appetite and weight loss: a systematic review

J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2019 Dec 13;19(1):565-573. doi: 10.1007/s40200-019-00443-w. eCollection 2020 Jun.


Background: Previous studies have shown thylakoids, the membrane proteins which are extracted from green leaves like spinach, can induce satiety through homeostatic and non-homeostatic pathways. In this study, we reviewed the current human literature on thylakoids' characteristics and their relationship to satiety regulation and weight loss.

Methods: A systematic search of literature published between January 1990 and May 2019 was conducted on the electronic databases; including WEB OF SCIENCE, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Scopus, and EMBASE databases. We included all clinical trials that addressed the effects of thylakoids or chloroplast intake on satiety and weight loss.

Results: After excluding non-human studies, non-RCTs, duplications, studies with irrelevant data and interventions, eight studies were included in the qualitative synthesis. All studies supported this hypothesis that thylakoids reduce the feeling of hunger by increasing postprandial cholecystokinin and leptin and decreasing serum ghrelin, but the consequences of thylakoid intake on anthropometric characteristics were controversial.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our results may approve this postulation that receiving a thylakoid-enriched meal can decrease appetite and probably food intake in short term; however, more studies are needed to explore the effects of long term supplementation with thylakoids on weight loss in human subjects.

Keywords: Appetite; Obesity; Satiety; Spinach; Thylakoid; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review