How Protein Helps Weight Loss
A new study provides more information about how a high-protein diet can improve weight-loss efforts. According to researchers, an enzyme produced in the GI tract when protein is digested boosts levels of a certain hormone—prompting a feeling of fullness and reducing food intake. Foods high in protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and milk.
A recent animal study showed that phenylalanine—an amino acid produced after the consumption of foods high in protein—increased levels of the hormone GLP-1, which suppresses appetite, and decreased levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. Phenylalanine also increased activity in the laboratory animals.
The goals of future research are to learn more about how phenylalanine curbs hunger and aids weight loss and determine if the enzyme has the same appetite-suppressing effects in humans. Discovering the mechanisms by which protein curbs hunger could lead to new preventive and treatment strategies to fight obesity.
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