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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Jul;13(4):403-7. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833a7737.

Protein metabolic roles in treatment of obesity.

Author information

1
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

To understand the potential benefits of increased dietary protein during weight loss and the importance of distribution of high-quality protein at each meal.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Popular weight loss diets emphasize use of protein as a substitute for carbohydrates or fat to reduce insulin and minimize hunger and food cravings. These diets produce short-term weight loss, but long-term benefits remain obscured by failure to differentiate between outcomes of subject compliance and diet effectiveness. New molecular mechanisms have defined the benefits of protein as a meal threshold for the branched-chain amino acid leucine, which has been characterized as a unique signal regulator of muscle protein synthesis. Leucine consumed at 2.5 g triggers a postmeal anabolic response that protects metabolic active tissues during weight loss and increases loss of body fat.

SUMMARY:

Balanced daily distribution of protein with increased intake at breakfast and lunch protects metabolically active tissues including skeletal muscle during weight loss.

PMID:
20531180
DOI:
10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833a7737
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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