High-protein diets boost hunger-taming hormone

12:44am, September 5, 2006

Eating protein appears to boost blood concentrations of a hormone recently found to restrict appetite, researchers report. The findings could explain the success of popular high-protein diets.

Four years ago, Rachel L. Batterham of University College London and her colleagues found that injecting a hormone called peptide YY (PYY) into both normal-weight and obese people reduced their food intake by about a third and dampened hunger. A person's gut normally secretes the hormone during and after a meal.

Batterham's team wondered whether food's three basic nutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fat—have different effects on how much PYY people secrete.

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