Today, we know leptin doesn’t affect food intake and appetite from meal to meal but, instead, acts as one of the body’s controllers of how much food we eat and how much fat we burn over the long term.
Essentially leptin helps us maintain what the body believes to be a normal weight, but that’s the problem. For dieters, leptin can make it much harder to lose weight.
Obese individuals typically have very high levels of leptin. This is because the brain doesn’t respond to leptin after a while, so people keep eating despite the fact that they have enough (or too much) fat already stored, a problem referred to as “leptin resistance.”
Leptin resistance causes fat cells to produce even more leptin that is unable to communicate with the brain. Leptin-resistant individuals do keep eating but almost always feel hungry.
Modified fasting — which is a part of the Almased Figure Plan — increases leptin, the hunger-blocking satiety hormone.
ALMASED — GHRELIN, LEPTIN AND APPETITE
Ghrelin is, on the other hand, a hormone that spikes food cravings, food intake and fat storage.
Even though ghrelin, for all intent and purposes, appears to be a diet saboteur, in humans’ distant past ghrelin likely aided survival by helping people store sufficient levels of body fat.
The more ghrelin people have, the hungrier they are. The less ghrelin they have, the more full they feel, and therefore the less they eat. For those who want to lose weight, decreasing ghrelin levels can help.
Amino acids and protein — like what we find in Almased — lower ghrelin levels the best and help to keep leptin working the way it should.
In fact, in a group of overweight but otherwise healthy adults, responses to a breakfast with Almased were compared to responses following either a high-carbohydrate meal or a glucose drink (Berg, 2008).
Researchers showed that Almased's metabolic effects include reducing hunger and appetite, in addition to helping the body feel more full.
Compared with the high-carb meal or glucose drink, plasma ghrelin decreased significantly after Almased ingestion and remained at this level even after two hours of Almased intake. Cortisol, leptin and serotonin showed similarly beneficial responses.
In addition, postprandial insulin, as well as ghrelin response, were improved after consumption of Almased compared with the other meals, which speaks to the ability of Almased to exert a beneficial influence in “programming the appetite regulatory system.”
The authors noted that “this may explain the specific benefit of [Almased] for weight control and insulin resistance after regular intake in subjects with increased metabolic risk.”
Overall, the researchers noted that Almased shows “significant benefits” compared with conventional low-calorie diets.
More recently, a group of scientists (König, 2012) tested Almased in a group of 11 overweight or obese men with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
In this trial, which is referred to as “The Breakfast Study,” after an overnight fast participants received either Almased as a meal replacement or a standard breakfast. Four hours after the intervention, all subjects ate a standard lunch.
The levels of ghrelin were greatly decreased in the two hours after breakfast in the supplemented group.
König and his team saw these benefits even up to several hours after breakfast, in fact until after lunch, what is known as the “second meal effect.”
The authors postulated that the significantly greater decrease in ghrelin levels, along with a trend towards higher peptide-YY concentrations, in the post-prandial period probably contributed to the greater and longer satiety found after the Almased meal replacement.
ALMASED — SATIETY AND OTHER DIETS
In a 2010 study with 25 overweight women (Deibert, 2010), researchers proved that a diet with Almased not only results in weight loss and improved body composition over 24 weeks but also beneficially modulates leptin, in addition to supporting the body's ability to get sugar into cells for energy.
Other studies support these initial findings and suggest that a low-glycemic high protein diet significantly boosts levels of the fat-burning hormone, adiponectin, in addition to supporting healthy levels of blood sugar, ghrelin and leptin.
In a 2014 study (Koohkan, 2014), researchers examined 10 healthy males who received breakfasts with varying macronutrient composition, and looked at effects on blood glucose regulation, energy metabolism and satiety the high-protein Almased diet induced the “highest satiety feeling” of any of the diets studied.
Berg A, König D, Deibert P, Landmann U, Frey I, Kloock B, Gollhofer A. Favorable metabolic properties of a soy-honey-yoghurt product for meal replacement in overweight subjects with atherogenic risk. Atherosclerosis Supplements. 2008; 9(1):253.
König D, Muser K, Berg A, Deibert P. Fuel selection and appetite-regulating hormones after intake of a soy protein-based meal replacement. Nutrition. 2012 Jan;28(1):35-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.02.008. Epub 2011 Jul 20.
Deibert P, et al. Effects of a meal replacement based on soy protein on hormonal and metabolic regulation in overweight and obese females. Presented at the 11th International Congress on Obesity, July 11-15, 2010, Stockholm, Sweden.
Koohkan S, Schaffner D, Milliron BJ, Frey I, König D, Deibert P, Vitolins M, Berg A. The impact of a weight reduction program with and without meal-replacement on health-related quality of life in middle-aged obese females. BMC Women's Health. 2014, March 12; 14(1):45.