High-protein diet 'can undermine certain benefits of weight loss'

12 October 2016

People who consume a high-protein diet as a means of losing weight may be undermining some of the health benefits that typically accompany weight loss.

A study of 34 postmenopausal women with obesity has been carried out by Washington University in St Louis, finding that eating too much protein eliminates the improvements in insulin sensitivity that would typically be expected.

Many people on a diet consume extra protein to reduce their hunger levels and prevent the loss of muscle tissue, which sometimes accompanies weight loss. However, this report suggests this approach could undermine their metabolic health and increase their diabetes risk.

Women who ate a recommended amount of protein saw substantial metabolic benefits, including a 25 to 30 per cent improvement in insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering their risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The women on the high-protein diet, however, did not experience those improvements.

Study leader Dr Bettina Mittendorfer, a professor of medicine at Washington University in St Louis, said: "Changing the protein content has very big effects. It's not that the metabolic benefits of weight loss were diminished - they were completely abolished in women who consumed high-protein diets."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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