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  • Ritalin reduces calorie intake by 11%, fat intake by 17%

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    Tuesday, August 07, 2007 7:41 am Email this article
    Ritalin (methylphenidate), a drug that is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), reduces calorie intake by 11 percent and fat intake by 17 percent according to a short-term study from researchers from Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Subjects

    Subjects: 14 adults

    The current study involved 14 adults.



    Dose: 35 mg for 150 lbs person, 45 mg for 200 lbs person, 57 mg for 250 lbs person

    The dose used in the current study was 0.23 mg of Ritalin per pound of body weight one hour before lunch.

    This would be a dose of about 35 mg for a 150 pound person, 45 mg for a 200 pound person, and 57 mg for a 250 pound person, or 68 mg for a 300 pound person.


    Study Design

    Study design: Ritalin or placebo given one hour before buffet lunch

    On one day, subjects were given Ritalin (methylphenidate) an hour before a buffet lunch.

    On another day, the same subjects were given a placebo an hour before the same lunch.

    This way each person acted as their own control.


    Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor

    Ritalin is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor

    Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

    Low levels of dopamine are known to increase food intake, while increasing dopamine levels are known to decrease food intake.



    Conclusion: Ritalin reduces food intake, especially fat intake

    “[Ritalin (methylphenidate)] reduced overall energy intake with a selective reduction in dietary fat,” the researchers concluded.


    Previous Study

    Previous study: Ritalin reduced food intake by one-third in obese men

    A previous study found that Ritalin (methylphenidate) reduced food intake by one-third in obese men.



    Comment: I am not aware of any long-term studies

    I am not aware of any longer-term studies with Ritalin (methylphenidate) for weight loss.

    I imagine Ritalin (methylphenidate) causes weight loss, perhaps in the 5 percent range without any strict dieting and perhaps 10 percent with diet, exercise and behavior modification, but this is just a guess.


    Goldfield GS, Lorello C, Doucet E. Methylphenidate reduces energy intake and dietary fat intake in adults: A mechanism of reduced reinforcing value of food? AJCN. 2007 Aug, 86(2):308-15.


    G. S. Goldfield
    Mental Health Research, Children’s Hospital
    Eastern Ontario Research Institute
    Ottawa, ON

    School of Human Kinetics
    Department of Paediatrics
    University of Ottawa
    Ottawa, ON

    Department of Psychology
    Carleton University
    Ottawa, ON

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