Kindergesundheit24 Vorsorge-Check

Glutamate and protein influence body mass index and appetite control, during child development.

Particularly the relationship between physical activity, energy intake and body mass index explains markedly less of the variation in BMI than commonly assumed. Instead, it has been noted that protein consumption significantly correlates with BMI. Increasing evidence suggests that nutritional protein can stimulate food intake. Serum levels of most amino acids increase following a protein rich meal. This also applies for the so-called flavouring agent glutamate. Glutamate can be toxic for some of the essential neuronal structures of hypothalamic appetite regulation at high concentration. But glutamate also impairs satiety and result in voracity at much lower concentrations. Currently we do not know at what amounts we may consume the amino acid without being afraid of becoming voracious. But we need to carefully consider its use in child and adolescent nutrition. But it is not only glutamate that impairs appetite control. Protein itself is toxic for in humans at amounts beyond an intake of 200 g/d. This was certainly long known to indigenous populations and has also been described in the 19th century when hunters experienced “rabbit starvation”. “Rabbit starvation” causes nausea and diarrhoea within 3 days, and death in a few weeks. It may result from consuming more than about 40% of our dietary energy as protein. Protein intake needs supplementation either by carbohydrate or fat in order to reduce its contribution to total energy intake to significantly less than 40%. For this reasons the protein content of many popular weight loss diets, such as Atkins Diet, Protein Power, South Beach, and the Zone Diet reaching some 40% of energy, and even more, is certainly effective in weight loss. But for the same reasons high protein consumption should be regarded with great caution, and should particularly be avoided during pregnancy and childhood download the full article.

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