*Geek Box: Protein & Satiety
Why does protein increase fullness? There are a few mechanisms through which increased dietary protein intake stimulates satiety. First, the energy cost of digesting protein is high – 25% of energy from protein will be burned off as heat in digestion – and this increased energy expenditure may correlate to satiety. Secondly, dietary proteins act on hormones that signal satiety, and influence brain regions associated with appetite via the gut-brain axis. There are other potential mechanisms, including the increase in gluconeogenesis (the conversion of non-carbohydrate sources into glucose) from higher protein intake, and enhanced post-meal satiety from high circulating amino acid (the building blocks of protein) concentrations. Taken together, these characteristics in part explain the efficacy of increased dietary protein for reducing adiposity in real-world, free-living settings.