My friend swears that a pine nut-oil pill calms her urge to overeat. Sounds perfect for the holidays. Does it work?

Yes: Dutch researchers have discovered that the pinolenic acid in pine nuts elevates the secretion of two key appetite-suppressing and satiety inducing hormones—cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide—by 60 percent and 25 percent, respectively. This reduces food intake by 36 percent in the four hours after consumption. But you’d have to eat 12 tablespoons of pine nuts daily to obtain those benefits. Instead, follow your friend’s lead and take a daily supplement that provides 3,000 mg of pine nut-oil extract, such as Life Extension Natural Appetite Control ($21 for 90 softgels, a month’s supply, at Taking one capsule 30 to 60 minutes before each of your three main meals will allow time for maximum hormone secretion to take place, so you will be able to eat less without struggle and keep holiday weight gain at bay.

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