Review: Ketogenic Diets Suppress Appetite Despite Weight Loss

Ketosis may explain why appetite is not increased despite weight loss in obese patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A review of evidence supports that ketogenic diets suppress appetite despite weight loss. The research was published online Nov. 17 in Obesity Reviews.

Alice Gibson, of the University of Sydney in Camperdown, Australia, and colleagues performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that evaluated appetite before and during adherence to very-low-energy diets (VLEDs) and ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets (KLCDs). Visual analogue scales were used to assess appetite in energy balance (before dieting) and while in ketosis (during dieting).

The researchers found that individuals on VLEDs had less hunger and greater fullness/satiety. Those on KLCDs had less hunger and reduced desire to eat. Whereas energy restriction typically increases appetite in obese people, individuals on ketogenic diets experienced small absolute reductions in appetite. Individuals on ketogenic diets may feel slightly less hungry, or more full or satisfied, despite weight loss.

"Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite," the authors write. "Future studies should investigate the minimum level of ketosis required to achieve appetite suppression during ketogenic weight loss diets, as this could enable inclusion of a greater variety of healthy carbohydrate-containing foods into the diet."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biomedical companies and organizations in the food and nutrition industry.

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