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Physiol Behav. 2010 Aug 4;101(1):161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.04.036. Epub 2010 May 6.

Fatty acid chain length, postprandial satiety and food intake in lean men.

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Human Nutrition Unit, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


High-fat diets are associated with obesity, and the weak satiety response elicited in response to dietary lipids is likely to play a role. Preliminary evidence from studies of medium (MCT) and long chain triglycerides (LCT) supports greater appetite suppression on high-MCT diets, possibly a consequence of direct portal access, more rapid oxidation and muted lipaemia. No data is as yet available on high-SCT diets which also have direct hepatic access. In this study SCT- (dairy fats), MCT- (coconut oil) and LCT-enriched (beef tallow) test breakfasts (3.3 MJ) containing 52 g lipid (58 en% fat) were investigated in a randomized, cross-over study in 18 lean men. All participants were required to complete the 3 study days in randomised order. Participants rated appetite sensations using visual analogue scales (VAS), and energy intake (EI) was measured by covert weighing of an ad libitum lunch meal 3.5 h postprandially. Blood samples were collected by venous cannulation. There were no detectable differences between breakfasts in perceived pleasantness, visual appearance, smell, taste, aftertaste and palatability (P>0.05). There was no significant effect of fatty acid chain length on ratings of hunger, fullness, satisfaction or current thoughts of food, nor did energy (mean, sem: SCT: 4406, 366 kJ; MCT: 4422, 306 kJ; LCT: 4490, 324 kJ; P>0.05) or macronutrient intake at lunch differ between diets. The maximum difference in EI between diets was less than 2%. Postprandial lipaemia also did not differ significantly. We conclude that there was no evidence that fatty acid chain length has an effect on measures of appetite and food intake when assessed following a single high-fat test meal in lean participants.

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