Peanut digestion and energy balance

Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Feb;32(2):322-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803735. Epub 2007 Oct 2.


Objective: To explore the effects of peanut consumption on fecal energy excretion with a balanced, non-vegetarian diet.

Design: Four arm parallel group design (that is, whole peanut (P), peanut butter (PB), peanut oil (PO) or peanut flour (PF) consumption) with one crossover (control and intervention).

Subjects: In total 63 healthy men and women from Ghana, Brazil and USA (N=15-16 per group) with an average body mass index of 21.8 kg m(-2).

Measurements: Percent fat of fecal wet weight daily energy excretion during the control and the treatment periods.

Results: Compared to control, the percentage of fat in the feces increased significantly for the P group (5.22+/-0.29%) relative to the other three groups ((PO=3.07+/-0.36%, PB=3.11+/-0.31% (P=0.001), and PF=3.75+/-0.40% (P=0.019)). The same findings held for kJ g(-1) of feces excreted. During the P supplementation period, the energy excretion was 21.4+/-1.0 kJ g(-1) versus 18.7+/-1.0 kJ g(-1) for PO (P=0.034), 18.8+/-0.7 kJ g(-1) for PB (P=0.042) and 18.5+/-0.8 kJ g(-1) for PF (P=0.028).

Conclusion: Fecal fat and energy loss is greater with consumption of whole peanuts compared to peanut butter, oil or flour. This may contribute to the less than predicted change of body weight observed with peanut consumption. There were no cultural differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arachis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated