Effects of L-phenylalanine on energy intake in overweight and obese women: interactions with dietary restraint status

Appetite. 2008 Jul;51(1):111-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.01.002. Epub 2008 Feb 7.


L-Phenylalanine (Phe), is a potent releaser of the satiety hormone, cholecystokinin (CCK) and previous studies, conducted primarily in men, show that ingestion of Phe reduces energy intake. The objective of the current study was to test the effects of Phe on energy intake in overweight and obese women. Subjects (n=32) received three treatments (high-dose (10 g Phe), low-dose (5 g Phe and 5 g glucose) or control (10 g glucose)) 20 min before an ad libitum lunch and dinner meal in a within-subjects', counterbalanced, double-blind study. No effect of Phe was found, however, interactions with dietary restraint status were detected in post-hoc analyses. Energy intake over the day was 11% lower following high-dose Phe versus control for women classified in the lower tertile of rigid restraint, a subscale of the dietary restraint scale, whereas no effects were noted for women in the middle and upper tertiles. High-dose Phe increased ratings of nausea, however, reduced energy intake in the high-dose condition was noted only for subjects with low nausea ratings. These results suggest that the satiety response to Phe is modulated by rigid restraint status and that reductions in food intake occur independently of Phe's effects on nausea.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caloric Restriction / methods
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Energy Intake / drug effects*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Phenylalanine / adverse effects
  • Phenylalanine / pharmacology*
  • Satiation / drug effects*
  • Satiation / physiology


  • Phenylalanine
  • Cholecystokinin