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Rats prove Atkins diet works
November 09, 2005
If you've always taken the Atkins diet with a pinch of salt, here's something you will find tough to digest: researchers have found an explanation to how gorging on high-protein food – such as steaks and Tandoori Chicken – can help reduce weight.
The diet plan founded by Richard Atkins advocates avoiding carbohydrate-rich food, and upping the protein intake. Low carbohydrate intake means less insulin peaks -- which make your body store sugar as fat -- and the protein makes your kidneys go on overdrive, burning up more calories, Atkins had reasoned.
But many sceptics have scoffed at his theories. For one, most research showed leptin and insulin, which help suppress appetite, did not react, or decreased when protein intake was raised.
Now, a new research says the extra protein of the Atkins diet tells the brain to stop eating.
'It is well known that protein feeding decreases hunger sensation and subsequent food intake in animals and humans,' Gilles Mithieux, one of the authors of the new research by the the University of Lyon in France, told The Guardian.
When Mithieux put his lab rats on a protein-rich diet, he found that the genes that produce glucose in the small intestine became more active.
And it has been scientifically proven that when the liver senses a glucose surge in the small intestine, it tells the brain to issue 'stop-eating' orders.
Smell a rat, do you? Smell again, because the small intestine works very similarly in rats and humans.
Besides the boost to the Atkins diet's credibility, the new research could also give obesity treatment a new target: manipulating glucose in the small intestine.