Ketogenic diets and appetite regulation

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2021 Jul 1;24(4):359-363. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000760.


Purpose of review: The popularity of ketogenic diets in the treatment of obesity has increased dramatically over the last years, namely due to their potential appetite suppressant effect. The purpose of this review was to examine the latest evidence regarding the impact of ketogenic diets on appetite.

Recent findings: The majority of the studies published over the last 2 years adds to previous evidence and shows that ketogenic diets suppress the increase in the secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin and in feelings of hunger, otherwise see when weight loss is induced by non-ketogenic diets. Research done using exogenous ketones point out in the same direction. Even though the exact mechanisms by which ketogenic diets suppress appetite remain to be fully determined, studies show that the more ketotic participants are (measured as β-hydroxybutyrate plasma concentration), the smaller is the increase in ghrelin and hunger and the larger is the increase in the release of satiety peptides. Further evidence for a direct effect of ketones on appetite comes from studies using exogenous ketones.

Summary: The appetite suppressant effect of ketogenic diets may be an important asset for improving adherence to energy restricted diets and weight loss outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite
  • Appetite Regulation*
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Ghrelin
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Weight Loss


  • Ghrelin