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Physiol Behav. 2008 May 23;94(2):300-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.01.003. Epub 2008 Jan 12.

Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins.

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  • 1Department of Human Biology of the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, The Netherlands.


Relatively high protein diets, i.e. diets that maintain the absolute number of grams of protein ingested as compared to before dieting, are a popular strategy for weight loss and weight maintenance. Research into multiple mechanisms regulating body weight has focused on the effects of different quantities and types of dietary protein. Satiety and energy expenditure are important in protein-enhanced weight loss and weight maintenance. Protein-induced satiety has been shown acutely, with single meals, with contents of 25% to 81% of energy from protein in general or from specific proteins, while subsequent energy intake reduction was significant. Protein-induced satiety has been shown with high protein ad libitum diets, lasting from 1 to 6 days, up to 6 months. Also significantly greater weight loss has been observed in comparison with control. Mechanisms explaining protein-induced satiety are nutrient-specific, and consist mainly of synchronization with elevated amino acid concentrations. Different proteins cause different nutrient related responses of (an)orexigenic hormones. Protein-induced satiety coincides with a relatively high GLP-1 release, stimulated by the carbohydrate content of the diet, PYY release, while ghrelin does not seem to be especially affected, and little information is available on CCK. Protein-induced satiety is related to protein-induced energy expenditure. Finally, protein-induced satiety appears to be of vital importance for weight loss and weight maintenance. With respect to possible adverse events, chronic ingestion of large amounts of sulphur-containing amino acids may have an indirect effect on blood pressure by induction of renal subtle structural damage, ultimately leading to loss of nephron mass, and a secondary increase in blood pressure. The established synergy between obesity and low nephron number on induction of high blood pressure and further decline of renal function identifies subjects with obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus II as particularly susceptible groups.

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