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Proteins and satiety: implications for weight management

Soenen, Stijna,b; Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet Sa,b

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2008 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 - p 747–751
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328311a8c4
Functional foods: Edited by Nathalie M. Delzenne and Peter Stehle

Purpose of review To highlight the satiating background and effects of proteins and their implications for weight management.

Recent findings The satiating effect of protein is the key player in body-weight loss and body-weight maintenance thereafter. Specific high-protein meals or high-protein diets induced satiety require a realistic bandwidth of energy intake, protein concentrations, texture, and timing of assessment of effects. Satiety is nutrient specifically supported by elevated amino acid concentrations, responses of anorexigenic hormones or protein-induced energy expenditure. During long-term high-protein diets sustained satiety, energy expenditure, and sparing fat-free body mass are essential. For effects due to satiety, ad libitum energy intake conditions are necessary. Adverse events related to kidney damage may occur with sulphur-containing amino acids; individuals with obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus II may be susceptible groups.

Summary Highly controlled medium-term studies overcoming possible differences due to texture, timing and macronutrient exchange, and assessing satiety, energy expenditure and substrate oxidation at the same time, need to be executed with a realistic bandwidth of different types of proteins in overweight individuals in different energy balances.

aDepartment of Human Biology, Nutrim, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

bTI Food and Nutrition, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Correspondence to Professor Dr Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga, Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands Tel: +31 43 3881566; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.