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18 January 2008
How Low-Carb Diets Suppress Hunger

Popular diet plans like the Atkins are based on changing the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats one ingests as a method to promote weight loss. There has been some controversy regarding the effectiveness of these diets, but a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism could shed light on potential mechanisms by which these diets promote weight loss.

The study examined the relative ability of different nutrient types to suppress ghrelin, which is secreted by the stomach and is the only known appetite-stimulating hormone. Circulating ghrelin levels increase shortly before meals and then decrease promptly after ingestion of food.

"We found that when fat is consumed, levels of ghrelin remain relatively high, which could in turn stimulate hunger," said study author Dr. Karen Foster-Schubert, of the University of Washington School of Medicine. "Protein consumption resulted in the greatest suppression of ghrelin over a long period and, interestingly, consumption of carbohydrates resulted in strong ghrelin suppression initially, although subsequent ghrelin levels rebounded well above baseline."

"These findings open the door to future research on the effectiveness of varying methods of dieting," said Foster-Schubert. "Improving our understanding of the regulation of ghrelin by ingested macronutrients could facilitate rational design of weight-reducing diets."

Related:
Carbs Not The Culprit?
Study Slams Effectiveness Of Dieting
BMI: A Big Fat Lie?
High Fat Diet Blocks Appetite Regulator

Source: Endocrine Society


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