Feeling Fuller with Flax: Benefits for Weight Loss
Flaxseed tablets may provide an innovative alternative to an already resonating subject among consumers, that of weight management. Hunger control or satiety ingredients such as fiber are drawing increased consumer attention.
According to Euromonitor International, global sales of naturally healthy, high-fiber foods increased 15 percent from 2002 to 2005. The current market is valued at approximately $25 billion. With increasing research promoting fiber’s health benefits and effective promotional strategies, the outlook for flax seed supplements is extremely promising.1
Scientific studies2 investigating the role of fiber for health demonstrate fiber’s possible benefits in:
- Cardiovascular health support
- Weight management
- Supporting healthy blood sugar
- Digestive health
The recommended dietary intake of fiber is 25 to 30 grams daily for an adult. Although consumers are aware of the benefits, a survey conducted by the National Fiber Council (NFC) found that a majority of Americans may not get an adequate intake through diet alone. According to the NFC, the average American gets 10 to 15 grams of fiber through diet. That’s less than half the recommended intake.3 In 2010, Sloan Trends Inc. reported that 71 percent of American adults were proactively trying to increase their fiber intake.4 Supplement companies can provide their customers with a convenient way of getting fiber into their diet by manufacturing a high-quality dietary fiber supplement that would help them meet the recommended dietary intake and promote intestinal health as well as general health and well-being.
Research on Flax Seed Supplements
Fiber is indigestible and can be divided into two types: soluble or insoluble. The insoluble type acts as roughage in the intestinal system promoting bowel regularity. Soluble fiber can hold large quantities of water and thereby increase stomach distension which may produce feelings of fullness. Scientists believe this may also delay digestive time leading to greater absorption of nutrients.5
Scientists in Denmark, headed by Dr. M. Kristensen, have been intensely studying the role of flax fiber in the diet. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen demonstrated that an intake of 2.4 grams of flax fiber may increase satiety and feelings of fullness in young men when compared to a control meal. The study recruited 18 young men in a double-blind randomized crossover design which analyzed various satiety markers.6
In a more recent study headed by Dr. M. Kristensen, researchers studied the effects of flax fiber consumed in tablet form as compared to flax fiber in a beverage form. They discovered that both flaxseed tablets and beverages had similar satiety effects and may be used to help suppress appetite and support weight loss. The results demonstrated that measures for satiety and fullness were about 30 percent larger in those who were given flaxseed tablets/beverages when compared with the control group.7
Being a viscous beverage, the texture of flaxseed beverage may not appeal to most consumers. Fiber tablets are seen to provide consumers with a more attractive alternative to flaxseed beverages. Moreover, tablets can be easily taken and in contrast to flax powder, consumers need not spend unnecessary time in beverage preparation.
Addressing a Fat Problem
About 68 percent of the adults in the United States are overweight. If weight management trends continue, some studies predict that the prevalence of obesity among adults will rise to 37 percent by 2013 and 43 percent by 2018. Being overweight not only has adverse consequences on individual health and quality of life, but the related health concerns continue to be an enormous burden to the healthcare system, estimated at $117 billion a year in the United States.8,9
According to Packaged Facts, retail sales of weight loss products increased by almost 90 percent from 1999 to 2003 posting a 17 percent compound annual growth rate.10 Because of controversy and negative publicity of numerous weight loss ingredients that have come and gone, consumers are now wary of products with sensation-based claims which is why the sales of weight loss aids suffered last year. However, ingredients that have adequate support for efficacy and formulations based on research still evoke higher consumer interest and are more likely to succeed in the market. Below are some weight loss ingredients that can be found in the market11:
- Garcinia cambogia
- Citrus aurantium (bitter orange)
- Fucoxanthin (derived from brown seaweed)
- African mango (Irvingia gabonensis)
- White bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) extract
- Caralluma fimbriata extract
- Prebiotic fiber
Flax Seed for Weight Loss
According to Mintel’s 2009 survey, 53 percent of those polled said they wanted more functional products that promote satiety. A HealthFocus Global Study (2008) revealed that 45 percent of global consumers were extremely interested in products that could keep them feeling “fuller” for longer. Their 2009 study showed that 76 percent associated fiber with satiety and weight management.12
Americans are showing a keen interest in products that promote satiety and reduce hunger. Tired and wary of products with exaggerated claims for weight loss, consumers are more likely to turn to natural weight management ingredients that have reputable scientific support for efficacy, such as fiber.
Flaxseed fiber supplements can be manufactured as organic powders, granules or tablets. Don’t miss out on offering the benefits of a fiber supplement to your customers. Contact our Production Specialists and discover the options available to you for manufacturing flax seed supplements for weight management, at cost-effective rates. We’ll help you target the right market with the right fiber supplement. Call (855) 492-7388 to speak to one of our knowledgeable Production Specialists or submit your request to receive a free manufacturing quote in 48 hours or less.
- Euromonitor International
- September 2011, Sloan Trends Inc.
- February 1, 2012, Functional Ingredients.