Australian Natural Bodz - - Nutrition Knowledge Centre -

If you’re look­ing to lose a cou­ple of pounds of fat, a high­protein diet is of­ten the best op­tion. But what’s the best kind of protein for weight loss? Ac­cord­ing to Scan­di­na­vian re­searchers, the best slim­ming pro­teins are found in shell­fish. These con­tain rel­a­tively large amounts of tau­rine and glycine. The re­searchers per­formed ex­per­i­ments with five groups of mice. Four groups were fed a diet for six weeks that would make them fat­ter: it con­tained lots of su­gar and fat. A con­trol group was given a high-su­gar low-fat diet. The protein in the low-fat diet was ca­sein; in the four ex­per­i­men­tal groups the protein was chicken, cod, crab or scal­lop. The scal­lop was the shell­fish, or the re­searchers used Cana­dian scal­lop, aka Pla­copecten mag­el­lan­i­cus. The re­searchers wanted to know what ef­fect the dif­fer­ent pro­teins had on obe­sity. There are in­di­ca­tions that some pro­teins are bet­ter at re­duc­ing ex­cess fat de­po­si­tion than oth­ers. For ex­am­ple, a 2009 study sug­gests that it’s eas­ier to lose weight by mak­ing lean fish your main source of protein rather than lean meat. The pro­teins in fish con­tain large amounts of tau­rine. All pro­teins of sea crea­tures con­tain large amounts of tau­rine, and also large amounts of glycine. Crab protein con­tains more tau­rine and glycine than fish, but the best source of tau­rine and glycine is shell­fish meat. Tau­rine and glycine are not es­sen­tial for adults: our bod­ies can make them from the amino acids we in­gest from our food. To cut a long story short: the more glycine and tau­rine the mice in­gested, the less body fat they built up. The mice that got their protein from shell­fish be­came slim­mer, de­spite their fat­ and su­gar­rich diet, and did not lose lean body mass ei­ther. So glycine and tau­rine have a slim­ming ef­fect. But how does this work? The re­searchers don’t know. A shell­fish diet re­duced ap­petite a lit­tle, but they were not able to work out whether glycine and tau­rine re­duce the amount of en­ergy de­rived from food, or whether they in­crease calo­rie burn­ing. On the other hand for those that are al­ler­gic to shell­fish you could try adding a lit­tle ex­tra pure tau­rine and glycine to your protein shakes!

Ref­er­ence: Amino Acids. 2014 Mar 23

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