Author(s): Gendall KA, Joyce PR
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Abstract This study investigated the effects of meals varying in macronutrient composition on plasma tryptophan/large neutral amino acid (tryp:LNAA) ratios and subsequent appetite and mood in women defined as "food cravers." Nine women consumed one of each of a high protein, high carbohydrate and mixed meal on three separate days. Blood samples and appetite and mood ratings were taken before and at intervals up to 150 min after meal consumption. The first subsequent ad libitum food intake was recorded in diaries. The tryp:LNAA ratio increased significantly after the carbohydrate meal compared to protein and mixed meals. No significant correlations between change in tryp:LNAA ratio and mood or macronutrient intake at the ad libitum eating episode were observed. There was a negative correlation between tryp:LNAA ratio and desire to binge eat (p=0.03) and a trend towards a negative correlation between tryp:LNAA ratio and craving for carbohydrate-rich foods (p=0.07). Participants whose ad libitum eating episode was categorized as a binge had a trend (p=0.06) toward lower plasma tryp:LNAA ratio than those who did not binge. Regression analysis showed that the effects of change in tryp:LNAA ratio on desire to binge eat was independent of meal type and changes in insulin and glucose concentrations. These findings suggest that reducing plasma tryp:LNAA ratio, via consumption of a protein-rich meal, may mediate the desire to binge eat in susceptible women.
This article was published in Eat Behav
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy