Appetite-Inducing Effects of Homoeriodictyol: Two Randomized, Cross-Over Interventions

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Anorexia of aging, characterized by a decrease in appetite and/or food intake, is a major risk factor of under-nutrition and adverse health outcomes in elderly people. Recent in vitro evidence suggests homoeriodictyol (HED), a naturally occurring, bitter-masking flavanone, as a promising agent to increase appetite and food intake.

Methods and results

In two cross-over intervention trials, 30 mg NaHED, either solely (n = 10, Study I) or in combination with a 75 g glucose load (n = 17, study II) were administered to healthy adult subjects. Ratings of hunger were assessed at fasting and either 30 min (Study I) or 120 min (Study II) post intervention. Ad libitum energy intake from a standardized breakfast and plasma changes in hunger-/satiety-associated hormones PYY, GLP-1, ghrelin and serotonin were determined after blood drawings. Effects were more pronounced when NaHED was administered in combination with 75 g glucose since ad libitum energy (+ 9.52 ± 4.60%) and protein (+ 7.08 ± 7.97%) intake as well as plasma ΔAUC ghrelin values increased in study II solely, whereas plasma serotonin concentrations decreased after both interventions.


NaHED demonstrated appetizing effects in healthy adults when administered with a glucose load. Long-term intervention studies are warranted to verify these effects in compromised subjects.

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