Biomarkers of satiation and satiety

C. de Graaf, W.A.M. Blom, P.A.M. Smeets, A. Stafleu, H.F.J. Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

358 Citations (Scopus)


This review's objective is to give a critical summary of studies that focused on physiologic measures relating to subjectively rated appetite, actual food intake, or both. Biomarkers of satiation and satiety may be used as a tool for assessing the satiating efficiency of foods and for understanding the regulation of food intake and energy balance. We made a distinction between biomarkers of satiation or meal termination and those of meal initiation related to satiety and between markers in the brain [central nervous system (CNS)] and those related to signals from the periphery to the CNS. Various studies showed that physicochemical measures related to stomach distension and blood concentrations of cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide 1 are peripheral biomarkers associated with meal termination. CNS biomarkers related to meal termination identified by functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography are indicators of neural activity related to sensory-specific satiety. These measures cannot yet serve as a tool for assessing the satiating effect of foods, because they are not yet feasible. CNS biomarkers related to satiety are not yet specific enough to serve as biomarkers, although they can distinguish between extreme hunger and fullness. Three currently available biomarkers for satiety are decreases in blood glucose in the short term (2-4 d) negative energy balance; and ghrelin concentrations, which have been implicated in both short-term and long-term energy balance. The next challenge in this research area is to identify food ingredients that have an effect on biomarkers of satiation, satiety, or both. These ingredients may help consumers to maintain their energy intake at a level consistent with a healthy body weight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-961
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • glucagon-like peptide-1
  • plasma ghrelin levels
  • diet-induced thermogenesis
  • reduces food-intake
  • dependent insulinotropic polypeptide
  • cholecystokinin receptor antagonist
  • circulating leptin concentrations
  • positron-emission-tomography
  • c-terminal octapep


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