Curb Your Appetite with Protein
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
New research from America has suggested that an amino acid (protein building block) called leucine might help to reduce appetite.
When hungry rats had the amino acid injected into their brains, their appetite was curbed and they gained a third less weight over 24 hours than the rats who didn’t have the injection.
Currently the research is in its very early stage and the researchers conclude that more work needs to be done before any definite conclusions can be made.
This is an interesting piece of research but it’s important not to jump to conclusions. At the moment, it’s too soon to say whether leucine actually needs to be injected to penetrate the brain or if it would work in humans to suppress appetite. It’s also unclear whether the leucine found in protein-rich foods such as meat and eggs has the same effect on the brain.
Nevertheless, there’s certainly no harm in including lean protein-rich foods in your diet, such as lean red meat, skinless chicken, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, beans and soya. But remember to count the calories!
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