For years, the idea that protein is a magic nutrient that keeps you full and helps you eat less has been touted by the health and fitness industry. However, a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition challenges this belief.
The study(1) investigated the effects of caseinomacropeptide (CMP), a predominant breakdown product of casein in the human stomach that is believed to aid in the regulation of food intake and therefore isolating the role of protein unlike most studies related to protein where the role of protein is confounded by other factors(eg. Interactions with other nutrients.) The researchers assessed the effects of CMP on satiety and satiation by measuring the amount of food consumed at meal times and through subjective motivation to eat questionnaires.
The study involved 20 male and 32 female adults who consumed four different beverage treatments: 0.4% CMP solution, 2.0% CMP solution, vehicle alone, and water containing colorant and clouding agent. Ad libitum lunches were consumed on four separate occasions, and after lunch, the subjects left the study center and completed a standardized questionnaire every hour throughout the afternoon and evening to assess hunger and stomach fullness.
The results of the study were surprising. The CMP had no effect on energy intake or weight of food consumed at lunch or for the remainder of the day. CMP also had no effect on subjective indicators of satiety. In other words, intake of CMP before a midday meal has no effect on regulation of food intake over a short-term period.
These findings challenge the notion that protein is the magic nutrient that keeps you full and helps you eat less. Protein is important for overall health, but it may not be the key to weight loss as it has been marketed to be.
It is important to note that there are many charlatans and protein zealots who will ignore this study and continue to cherry-pick evidence that supports their models and poor science. However, this study should be grounds to question their credibility and intentions when it comes to human health.
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