New research shows limiting carbs to dinner-time increases satiety, reduces risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease

November 8, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—An experimental diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner could benefit people suffering from severe and morbid obesity, according to new research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The diet influences secretion patters of hormones responsible for hunger and satiety, as well as hormones associated with metabolic syndrome. In this way the diet can help dieters persist over the long run, and reduce risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The research was carried out by research student Sigal Sofer under the auspices of Prof. (Emeritus) Zecharia Madar, at the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment. (Prof. Madar is now Chief Scientist at Israel's Ministry of Education.)

Sofer randomly assigned 78 police officers to either the experimental diet (carbohydrates at dinner) or a control weight loss diet (carbohydrates throughout the day). 63 subjects finished the six-month program.

The researchers examined the experimental diet's effect on the secretion of three hormones: leptin, considered to be the satiety hormone, whose level in the blood is usually low during the day and high during the night; ghrelin, considered the hunger hormone, whose level in the blood is usually high during the day and low during the night; and adiponectin, considered the link between obesity, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, whose curve is low and flat in obese people.

"The idea came about from studies on Muslims during Ramadan, when they fast during the day and eat high-carbohydrate meals in the evening, that showed the secretion curve of leptin was changed," explained Prof. Madar.

The researchers found that the innovative dietary manipulation led to changes in daylight hormonal profiles in favor of the dieters: the satiety 's secretion curve became convex during daylight hours with a nadir in the late day; the hunger hormone ghrelin's secretion curve became concave, peaking only in the evening hours; and the curve of adiponectin, considered the link between obesity, and the , was elevated. At the same time this dietary pattern led to lower hunger scores, and better anthropometric (weight, abdominal circumference and body fat), biochemical (blood sugar, blood lipids) and inflammatory outcomes compared to the control group.

The findings suggest there is an advantage in concentrating carbohydrate intake in the evening, especially for people at risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease due to obesity. "The findings lay the basis for a more appropriate dietary alternative for those people who have difficulty persisting in diets over time," said Prof. Madar. "The next step is to understand the mechanisms that led to the results obtained."

The study was published in two continuous papers: "Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner" (published in Obesity) and "Changes in daily leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin profiles following a diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner in obese subjects" (published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases).

Explore further: Carefully scheduled high-fat diet resets metabolism and prevents obesity

Related Stories

Carefully scheduled high-fat diet resets metabolism and prevents obesity

September 12, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—New research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shows that a carefully scheduled high-fat diet can lead to a reduction in body weight and a unique metabolism in which ingested fats are not stored, ...

Desserts with a low glycemic index may benefit weight-loss efforts for obese children

June 6, 2011
Overweight girls lose more weight and can better stay on a healthy diet if they eat sugar-free, low-fat desserts several times weekly, as opposed to any dessert once a week, a new study finds. The results will be reported ...

'Dessert with breakfast diet' helps avoid weight regain by reducing cravings

June 25, 2012
Dieters have less hunger and cravings throughout the day and are better able to keep off lost weight if they eat a carbohydrate-rich, protein-packed breakfast that includes dessert. These findings come from a new study that ...

Recommended for you

Americans misinformed about smoking

August 22, 2017
After voluminous research studies, numerous lawsuits and millions of deaths linked to cigarettes, it might seem likely that Americans now properly understand the risks of smoking.

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.