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Pinolenic Acid Increases Satiety by 36%

Obesity and overweight are conditions that affect over half of the US population. Numerous treatment options are available to help combat weight gain, including reduction of food intake by appetite suppression.

Numerous food-associated hormones are secreted by enteroendocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract in response to the macronutrient composition of a meal. These hormones act as circulating ligands in the peripheral and central nervous system and result in behavioral modifications such as food intake reduction. Collectively, gastrointestinal signals that direct the nervous system to reduce food intake are known as "satiety signals." The most well-known of these hormones are cholecystokinin (CCK), and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1).

The Korean Pine Nut (Pinus koraiensis) contains significant levels of certain fatty acids, called pinolenic acid, shown in vitro to induce the release of CCK in STC-1 enteroendocrine cells. This pine nut oil (PinnoThin) was commercially produced and subsequently investigated in 18 overweight women (BMI=25-30 kg/m3) who participated in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial designed to measure aspects of satiety. Volunteers received 3 grams active or olive oil placebo in the form of gel capsules immediately before a carbohydrate test meal. Hormone measures (CCK, GLP-1, PYY peptide, and ghrelin) were taken at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes following supplementation. Subjective appetite-related measures were also recorded at each time interval.

The study demonstrated a significant increase in the satiety hormones CCK and GLP-1 over 4 hours (p<0.0001); PYY and ghrelin levels were not significantly different from placebo. Subjective appetite scores followed a similarly significant pattern. "Desire to eat" and "prospective food intake" as measured on a visual analog scale (VAS) were 29 and 36% lower than placebo, respectively.

These results are discussed in the context of potential weight management options with naturally-derived, lipid-based ingredients such as Pinoleic Acid.


Causey JL. Korean pine nut fatty acids induce satiety-producing hormone release in overweight human volunteers. Paper presented at: American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition; March 26-30, 2006; Atlanta, GA. AGFD 117.

Pasman WJ, Heimerikx J, Rubingh CM, at. al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Mar 20;7(1):10.

Key concepts: pinolenic acid, satiety, diet, CCK, GLP-1