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J Nutr. 2018 Apr 20. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy020. [Epub ahead of print]

A Clear Difference Emerges in Hormone Patterns Following a Standard Midday Meal in Young Women Who Regularly Eat or Skip Breakfast.

Author information

The Nutrient Institute, Incline Village, NV.
Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA.
US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit, Davis, CA.
University of California Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, Irvine, CA.



Multiple hormones are involved in the regulation of food intake and glucose metabolism. Past intervention studies showed a benefit of eating breakfast on satiety, but this was possibly confounded by the disruption of habitual meal patterns.


The objective of this study was to compare hormonal responses, including insulin, leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1, ghrelin, peptide YY (PYY3-36), and cholecystokinin (CCK), between habitual breakfast eaters (Br-Es) and habitual skippers (Br-Ss) to a standard midday meal.


Thirty-two women [mean ± SD age: 22.6 ± 3.3 y; body mass index (in kg/m2): 21.8 ± 2.0] participated in a cross-sectional study that consisted of a 3-h test protocol that included a standard test meal served at 1230 with pre- and postmeal blood sampling. The protocol required that Br-Es eat a typical breakfast between 0700 and 1000, whereas Br-Ss had no breakfast meal and had fasted for 12 h. Blood was drawn 35 and 5 min prelunch and 5, 20, 35, 50, and 110 min postlunch.


Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a group difference for PYY3-36 (P = 0.001), with the Br-E group exhibiting 50-90% higher concentrations throughout the test period. Leptin tended to be different (P = 0.08) between groups, with higher mean ± SD values for the Br-S group (27.6 ± 29.6 ng/mL) compared with the Br-E group (11.5 ± 9.8 ng/mL). Partial least squares regression analysis confirmed that these 2 hormones were important contributors to the patterns of the hormones, anthropometric, clinical, and behavioral variables that differed between groups; insulin and CCK were important as well.


We found differences between the Br-E and Br-S groups in circulating gut and adipose-derived hormones measured midday, indicating that the breakfast habit is associated with the hormonal milieu before and after a midday meal. The different patterns may be short-lived or may impact metabolism later in the day. This report is a secondary analysis of a trial registered at as NCT01427556.


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