Thylakoid membranes from green plants affect appetite and promote body weight loss

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


The incidence of overweight and obesity has reached alarming proportions. Today,
overweight, obesity and the metabolic diseases cause more death than starvation. To
counteract an increasing body weight gain, regulation of appetite and a controlled food
intake is of greatest importance. Simply put, body weight is regulated by the amount
of energy ingested, and the amount of energy expended. In todays sedentary lifestyle,
we tend to have a much higher food intake than the amount of energy used by the
body, resulting in body weight gain.
Thylakoids are membranes extracted from chloroplasts of green leaves. They have
previously been found to prolong the lipolysis and affect food intake and body weight
gain in rodents, as well as affect appetite-regulating hormones in healthy volunteers.
This thesis aims to explain mechanisms underlying the effects of thylakoids on food
intake and body weight gain, as well as present longer time effects in humans.
Results show that thylakoids promote body weight loss in humans after three months
of daily supplementation. Several factors important for body weight regulation are
affected by thylakoids. The digestion of dietary nutrients is prolonged after thylakoid
supplementation, resulting in prolonged glucose and insulin responses. In the long run,
fasting blood-glucose concentrations are also decreased. Thylakoids stimulate the
release of the satiety promoting hormones cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like
peptide-1 (GLP-1), while decreasing levels of the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin.
Moreover, circulating levels of leptin and blood lipids are decreased after thylakoid
supplementation for two and three months. Finally, thylakoids affect the subjective
ratings of appetite and urge for specific food. The urge for energy dense, so called
palatable food rich in fat and sugar, is specifically decreased after thylakoid intake.
In conclusion, the results presented in this thesis show that thylakoids exert positive
effects for body weight and appetite regulation and may thus be used as an effective
tool for novel treatment of overweight, obesity and the metabolic diseases.


  • Caroline Montelius
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Basic Medicine


  • Overweight, Obesity, Appetite Regulation, Thylakoids, Craving, Satiety
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2015 Feb 6
  • Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund Univeristy
Print ISBNs978-91-7619-094-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2015-02-06 Time: 09:00 Place: LUX Hörsal Nedre, Helgonavägen 3, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Rössner, Stephan Title: Prof Affiliation: Karolinska Institutet ---

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Related research output

Caroline Montelius, Daniel Erlandsson, Egzona Vitija, Eva-Lena Stenblom, Emil Egecioglu & Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, 2014, In: Appetite. 81, Jun 30, p. 295-304

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Eva-Lena Stenblom, Caroline Montelius, Daniel Erlandsson, Line Skarping, Maria Fransson, Emil Egecioglu, Krzysztof Podgorski & Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, 2014, In: Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy. 4

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Caroline Montelius, Katarzyna Szwiec, Marek Kardas, Liudmyla Lozinska, Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Stefan Pierzynowski, Jens F Rehfeld & Björn Weström, 2014, In: Clinical Nutrition. 33, 6, p. 1122-1126

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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