Daily Health Headlines

High-Protein Diets May Not Help Fend Off Diabetes: Study

👤by Robert Preidt 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

TUESDAY, Oct. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- While many believe that a high-protein diet can help with weight loss, a new study finds it might actually prevent an important health benefit that comes with slimming down.

The research found that when you lose weight on a high-protein diet, there's no improvement in what doctors call "insulin sensitivity" -- a factor that could lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

In type 2 diabetes, cells gradually lose insulin sensitivity -- their ability to respond to the metabolic hormone.

This often occurs with rising obesity, so improved insulin sensitivity can be one of the byproducts of weight loss.

However, "we found that women who lost weight eating a high-protein diet didn't experience any improvements in insulin sensitivity," said study principal investigator Bettina Mittendorfer. She's a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Mittendorfer's team tracked outcomes over seven months for 34 obese women aged 50 to 65, none of whom had diabetes at the study's outset. The women were divided into three groups: a no-dieting group where women simply maintained their weight; a dieting group that ate the recommended daily level of protein; and a dieting group that stuck to a high-protein regimen.

At the end of the study period, women who ate a high-protein diet did not show improvement in insulin sensitivity, an important factor in reducing diabetes and heart disease risk.

The women who dieted but ate the standard amount of protein had a 25 to 30 percent improvement in their insulin sensitivity, the researchers reported.

"Women who lost weight while eating less protein were significantly more sensitive to insulin at the conclusion of the study," Mittendorfer said in a university news release. "That's important because in many overweight and obese people, insulin does not effectively control blood-sugar levels, and eventually the result is type 2 diabetes," she explained.

The researchers also found that consuming high levels of protein offered little benefit in terms of preserving muscle while dieting.

"When you lose weight, about two-thirds of it tends to be fat tissue, and the other third is lean tissue," Mittendorfer noted. "The women who ate more protein did tend to lose a little bit less lean tissue, but the total difference was only about a pound. We question whether there's a significant clinical benefit to such a small difference."

It's not known why insulin sensitivity didn't improve among women who ate high-protein diets, or if the same results would occur in men or in women already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.

One expert nutritionist said the findings make sense, metabolically speaking.

"Your body needs protein. But consuming an amount of protein beyond your needs is unnecessary, may be harmful if you have kidney issues, and can lead to weight gain since excess calories from protein are stored as fat," explained Stephanie Schiff. She's a registered dietitian at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

"For obese, postmenopausal women, add in the factor of decreased insulin sensitivity and the perceived benefits from high-protein diets are lost," she said.

Schiff believes the healthiest diet is a "balanced" one that includes complex carbohydrates as well as a recommended level of daily protein.

However, one diabetes expert believes healthy weight loss is typically beneficial in terms of preventing diabetes -- even if it involves high-protein regimens.

"Most of the time people who lose weight become more insulin sensitive," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, who coordinates the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

He believes exercise is key, too.

"A reasonable amount of physical activity can increase insulin sensitivity in muscles," Bernstein said, "and we generally work on caloric restriction and physical activity together."

The findings were published Oct. 11 in the journal Cell Reports.

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

Robert Preidt / HealthDay

Robert Preidt wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Stephanie Schiff, RDN, registered dietitian, Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y.; Gerald Bernstein, M.D., endocrinologist and coordinator, Friedman Diabetes Program, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Washington University, news release, Oct. 11, 2016

View More Articles From Robert Preidt 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Diabetes Articles

Low Blood Sugar Linked to Death Risk for Hospital Patients

Low Blood Sugar Linked to Death Risk for Hospital Patients0

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital patients with low blood sugar may be at increased risk for death, a new study from Israel suggests. The study included nearly 3,000 patients with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Nearly 32 ...

Can Protein, Probiotics Help With Blood Sugar Control?

Can Protein, Probiotics Help With Blood Sugar Control?0

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Adding protein-rich or probiotic-laden foods to your diet may help control your blood sugar levels, according to a pair of new studies. Both proteins and probiotics appear to slow down digestion of ...

Health Tip: Creating an Insulin Routine

Health Tip: Creating an Insulin Routine0

(HealthDay News) -- If you take insulin, you'll need to create a comfortable routine to keep blood glucose under control. The American Diabetes Association explains: Type 1 diabetes typically needs at least two daily injections of two ...

Daily Can of Soda Boosts Odds for Prediabetes, Study Finds

Daily Can of Soda Boosts Odds for Prediabetes, Study Finds0

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking a can of sugary soda every day can dramatically heighten a person's risk of developing prediabetes, a "warning sign" condition that precedes full-blown type 2 diabetes, a new study reports. A ...

Nearly 6 in 10 Diabetics Skip Eye Exams, Study Finds

Nearly 6 in 10 Diabetics Skip Eye Exams, Study Finds0

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Almost two-thirds of people with diabetes don't get annual eye exams, despite having an increased risk for serious eye disease and vision loss, researchers say. About one in 10 Americans has diabetes. ...

View More Diabetes Articles


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!