Postprandial ghrelin and PYY responses of male subjects on low carbohydrate meals to varied balancing proportions of proteins and fats

Eur J Nutr. 2010 Dec;49(8):493-500. doi: 10.1007/s00394-010-0108-9. Epub 2010 Apr 16.


Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate whether a higher proportion of protein or fat is more favorable for optimal ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) release in subjects consuming low carbohydrate meals.

Methods: Eight normal weight men received, on three separate occasions, high protein low fat (HPLF) (40% protein, 25% fat), low protein high fat (LPHF) (10% protein, 55% fat) or medium protein medium fat (MPMF) (25% protein, 40% fat) meals, with equal low carbohydrates content in all three meals (35% of energy). Postprandial blood samples were collected before and 15, 30, 60, 120, 180 and 240 min following the ingestion of each meal. Plasma acylated ghrelin and PYY(3-36) as well as serum insulin, glucose and triglycerides were measured.

Results: Comparing meals and considering each time point separately, a trend for a statistically significant difference in acylated ghrelin was observed between HPLF and LPHF meals and a statistically significant change of PYY from baseline was noted between HPLF and LPHF meals as compared to the MPMF meal at certain time points. When data were pooled together, a statistically significant difference in acylated ghrelin change from baseline was observed between HPLF and LPHF meals, while both HPLF and LPHF meals resulted in a significantly higher PYY(3-36) release in comparison to MPMF meal. AUC data analysis for PYY(3-36) revealed significantly higher values following HPLF in comparison to MPMF meal. Correlation analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between acylated ghrelin and insulin only with the HPLF meal. Postprandial glucose and triglyceride levels were not significantly different between the three meals.

Conclusions: In subjects consuming low carbohydrate meals, higher concentrations of proteins to fat seem to have more favorable effects on postprandial appetite hormones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Ghrelin / blood*
  • Ghrelin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lebanon
  • Male
  • Peptide YY / blood*
  • Peptide YY / metabolism
  • Postprandial Period
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Peptide YY