No evidence for metabolic adaptation in thermic effect of food by dietary protein

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OBJECTIVE: Determine whether prolonged consumption of high- or low-protein diets modifies the thermogenic response to a standard meal. METHODS: Twenty-four healthy individuals were randomized to overfeeding diets containing low (5%, n = 8), normal (15%, n = 9), or high (25%, n = 7) protein for 56 days while inpatients. The thermic effect of food (TEF) was measured over 4 h by indirect calorimetry following a standard meal (20% of energy, 20% protein) or a meal that matched the study diet ("study meal"). RESULTS: As expected, the TEF following the study meal (i.e., either low, normal, or high protein content) was significantly associated with dietary protein (P = 0.007), and the TEF was significantly increased in the high-protein diet (15.4%) versus the normal-protein (5.6%) and low-protein diets (6.4%) (P = 0.05 and P = 0.03, respectively). However, returning to a standard meal (20% protein) after 42 days of overfeeding the study diets, the TEF response did not differ from baseline between groups or within subjects regardless of the prolonged intake of the habitual study diet (high protein: P = 0.32, low protein: P = 0.11, normal protein: P = 0.79). CONCLUSIONS: TEF is related to acute dietary protein intake but not altered by prolonged intake of high-energy diets with high or low protein content.

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Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

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