Research Article| Volume 23, ISSUE 8, P744-750, August 2013

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Changes in daily leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin profiles following a diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner in obese subjects


      Background and aims

      Our recently published randomised clinical trial evaluated the effect of a low-calorie diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner. This dietary pattern led to lower hunger scores, and better anthropometric, biochemical and inflammatory outcomes compared to a standard low-calorie diet. In the same study, changes in diurnal secretion patterns of leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin were investigated.

      Methods and results

      Seventy-eight police officers (body mass index (BMI) > 30) were randomly allocated to experimental (carbohydrates at dinner) or control weight loss diets for 6 months. Sixty-three subjects finished the programme. On days 0, 7, 90 and 180 blood samples and hunger scores were collected every 4 h from 8:00 to 20:00. Hormonal profiles were available for 39.
      The dietary manipulation led to changes in daylight hormonal profiles in the experimental group. Leptin's secretion curve became convex, with a nadir later in the day (significant difference compared to baseline at morning and evening, p = 0.023, p = 0.021, respectively). Ghrelin's secretion curve became concave, peaking only in the evening hours. Adiponectin's curve was elevated only after the experimental diet (significant difference compared to baseline at afternoon, p = 0.044).


      We propose that a low-calorie diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner can modulate daytime hormonal profiles. Taken together with our earlier results, we believe this diet regime may prevent mid-day hunger, better support weight loss and improve metabolic outcomes compared to conventional weight loss diets.
      The trial is registered at, ISRCTN37829376, December 2009.


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