New Study Finds Appetite Hormone Ghrelin Unaffected By Carb Intake

Filed under: Study — @ May 17, 2006

Iowa State University biochemistry graduate student Michelle Bohan conducted a study on the appetite hormone ghrelin to see if diet composition affected levels of this hunger mechanism.

After observing a mixed pool of study participants who were both overweight and normal weight on the Atkins diet (10/45/45 carbohydrate/protein/fat ratio) and then on the SAD (AHA) diet (63/12/25 carbohydrate/protein/fat ratio), Bohan concluded that the macronutrient composition has little to no effect on ghrelin levels.

However, one interesting difference found in the study were the women on the Atkins diet who fasted before eating their lunch.

bq. The women who were on the Atkins diet experienced LOWER LEVELS of fasting ghrelin than the women on the AHA diet did. But on the days that the study participants did not fast, ghrelin levels in both groups one hour before lunch were almost identical.

Hmmm. Could you say the Atkins diet kept the women in the study MORE satisfied than the carb-heavy AHA diet did, which kept their ghrelin levels decreased? I think you can.

Although Bohan concluded it was caloric intake rather than any macronutrients that determined ghrelin levels, the question still remains what role protein and fat have in appetite control.

Read more about this fascinating study by clicking here.

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