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Protein restriction as an approach to obesity and diabetes – healing practice



Is it advisable to eat less protein?

When people with a condition called metabolic syndrome protein intake its reduction is associated with a decrease in body fat and weight. It helps to control major symptoms such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure without losing muscle mass.

In a new study involving experts from University of Sao Paulo (USP) has been studied whether an isocaloric protein restriction beneficial effects in people with metabolic syndrome. The results were published in the journal “nutrients“published.

Diet of participants monitored

In the research work, a total of 21 participants affected by metabolic syndrome were examined over a period of 27 days. Metabolic syndrome is primarily characterized by obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.

The main objective of the team was to monitor nutrition. Throughout the study, participants were hospitalized Hospital das Clínicas in Ribeirao Preto housed.

The experts calculated the daily calorie intake of all participants based on basal metabolic rate (resting energy consumption). Then, the participants were divided into two groups.

How did the participants eat?

One group received the typical western standard diet, which was 50% carbs, 20% protein, and 30% fat. However, participants in this group took part overall 25% fewer calories more than they normally would have.

In the case of people in the second group, on the other hand, only protein intake on ten percent of their normal value reduced. Both groups consumed four grams of salt daily, the team said.

Participants lost body fat and weight

According to experts, the calorie and protein restriction groups have shown that due to a Decreased body fat on losing weight. Additionally, metabolic syndrome symptoms improved in both groups.

It was previously known that reducing body fat with a Lower blood sugar levels and an Normalization of blood lipid levels and blood pressure connected, report the researchers.

In this study, “after 27 days of observation, both groups had similar results in lower blood sugar, weight loss, blood pressure control, and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels‘” underlines the author of the study Maria Cristina Foss de Freitas in a Press release.

Participants did not lose muscle mass

The doctor adds that both forms of dietary restriction Improved insulin sensitivity and reduced body fat and waist and hip measurements without losing muscle mass.

The study showed that reducing protein intake to 0.8g per kg of body weight is enough to achieve almost the same clinical results as calorie restriction, but without the need to reduce intake. calorie.‘ summarizes the author of the study Raphael Ferraz Bannitz together.

Easier to implement protein restriction

Therefore, for people with metabolic syndrome, a diet that restricts protein intake could be a nutritional strategy more attractive and easier to follow poses to control their discomfort, adds the expert.

In the study, the Macronutrient manipulation (proteins, carbohydrates and lipids) sufficient to ensure the beneficial effects of a food restriction reach.

Protein restriction reduces body fat and preserves muscle

We have shown that protein restriction reduces body fat while preserving muscle mass. This is important because weight loss on restrictive diets is often associated with loss of muscle mass.“, says Ferraz-Bannitz.

Unclear molecular mechanisms

the molecular mechanismsthat could explain the beneficial effects of protein restriction, were identified in the present study not analyzed. However, the team hypothesizes that a low protein intake triggers a change in metabolism or improves the body’s energy management.

For the moment we only have hypotheses. The first is that molecular pathways are activated which interpret the reduction in essential amino acids as a signal to reduce food intake and lead to the production of hormones which normally increase during fasting.‘ reports the author of the study Marcelo Mori.

From studies in animal models, these pathways are already known to be involved in the effects of protein and calorie restriction, both of which contribute to fat loss lead, adds the doctor.

Vegan diet beneficial in metabolic syndrome

However, the team points out that study participants’ diets were individualized and only those with metabolic syndrome were screened, which limits the validity of the results.

However, it is tempting to extrapolate the results. We know that research has shown that a vegan diet has a positive effect on metabolic syndrome. It has also been found that the excess protein intake common in standard Western diets can be a problem.“, like that dying.

However, it should be kept in mind that a lack of protein in nutrition too serious health problems may result, for example in pregnant women. Restriction of protein intake should therefore ideally be accompanied by a doctor. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • Rafael Ferraz-Bannitz, Rebeca A Beraldo, Augusto Peluso A, Morten Dall, Parizad Babaei, et al. : Dietary Protein Restriction Improves Metabolic Dysfunction in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome in a Randomized Controlled Trial; in: Nutrients (published on 06/28/2022), nutrients
  • Fundação de Amparo at Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo: protein restriction can be effective in the fight against obesity and diabetes, according to a study (published 09/20/2022), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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