Here’s Why Protein Is The Best Weight Loss Food

In a study published in the journal Cell, researchers have “mapped out the signals that travel between your gut and your brain to generate the feeling of satiety after eating a protein-rich meal”.

And why is this important?

It’s important because understanding this feedback loop between your brain & gut opens up a whole bunch of new avenues for weight loss research.

And considering that the average American now looks and acts like Homer Simpson, this is kinda big scientific news.

The Science

  • Researchers already know that food intake can be influenced through mu-opiod receptors (MORs) found on nerves that exist in the portal vein – the major blood vessel that drains blood from your gut.
  • Stimulating these MORs makes you eat more
  • Blocking MOR activity kills your appetite

In this study, the researchers found that “peptides, the products of digested dietary proteins, block MORs, and curb appetite. The peptides send signals to the brain that are then transmitted back to the gut to stimulate the intestine to release glucose, suppressing the desire to eat”.

“These findings explain the satiety effect of dietary protein, which is a long-known but unexplained phenomenon,” says senior author Dr. Gilles Mithieux of the Université de Lyon, in France. “They provide a novel understanding of the control of food intake and of hunger sensations, which may offer novel approaches to treat obesity in the future,” he adds.

How cool is that?


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

One thought on “Here’s Why Protein Is The Best Weight Loss Food

  • July 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Very cool indeed! From an unscientific standpoint, I know that even a relatively small steak can be surprisingly filling, so perhaps this is why.


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