March 1, 2024

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No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity

No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity


No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity.

As the saying goes, “We gain three pounds during the festive season”, and the National Day is coming soon, so everyone must start shopping or eating while lying down.


To lose weight, you must not only “stretch your legs”, but also “keep your mouth shut”, but it’s easy to talk about, but it’s really difficult to take action…


What’s more unfortunate is that for us “clockers”, compared with physical exercise, how to control diet reasonably has always been a super problem.


But sometimes, obesity is not only because we can’t eat, but also because of metabolic syndrome [1] . Metabolic syndrome refers to the pathological state of metabolic disorders of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and other substances in the human body. Dietary restriction (DR) is an effective means to help patients with metabolic syndrome lose weight and self-renew.


However, there is still a lack of understanding of how dietary restriction “cures” metabolic syndrome: Is it the burning of calories that leads to an improvement in metabolism? Or did changes in nutrient intake reconstruct a new look of metabolism [2-3] ?


On June 28, 2022, a study published online in Nutrients by the team of Maria Cristina Foss-Freitas from the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil reveals an effective way that dietary restriction contributes to the treatment of metabolic syndrome: protein restriction. restriction, PR), can improve metabolic syndrome, reduce body weight, blood sugar, blood lipids, blood pressure, and effectively improve insulin sensitivity, achieving a positive feedback similar to calorie restriction (CR) .

Meanwhile, the PR pathway did not appear to cause redundant body damage, the population diversity unaffected by the intervention, and adipose tissue transcriptome changes were weak.


No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity



In order to obtain first-hand available materials to analyze the contribution of PR (protein intake restriction) and CR (caloric restriction) regimens to metabolic syndrome, the researchers recruited 150 patients with metabolic syndrome, after excluding biased individuals and considering personal preferences, 40 patients were included in the total number of initial patients, and the following experimental plan was formulated: the calorie intake in the CR group was reduced by 25%, and the balance of the diet structure was unchanged;

the calorie intake in the PR group was unchanged, but the diet structure was changed, and the protein intake was reduced by 50%. %. After 27 days of experimentation, 11 participants completed the CR protocol and 10 completed the PR protocol.


First, the researchers focused on changes in body weight, anthropometric parameters, and energy-related parameters of participants before and after the experiment. Both CR and PR groups showed a reduction in body weight, fat mass, waist and hip circumference, but not muscle mass (Figure 1). The CR group showed a slightly more prominent performance in energy consumption, the ability to consume energy was stronger , and the changes in VO2 (oxygen uptake), VCO2 (carbon dioxide) were also more significant (Figure 1).


No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity

Figure 1: Changes in body weight, anthropometrics, energy, etc. of participants after CR and PR regimens


Importantly, the investigators found that both PR and CR regimens reduced blood pressure and heart rate in patients with metabolic syndrome, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (Figure 2).


No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity

Figure 2: Changes in participants’ heart rate and blood pressure after CR and PR regimens


In terms of biochemical parameters, after the CR and PR regimens, the fasting blood glucose of the patients was reduced by more than half, the hemoglobin was only slightly reduced, and the total hemoglobin and hematocrit levels did not change significantly. In the cholesterol analysis, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased .

The realization of inflammation in the CR and PR programs is also worthy of attention, greatly alleviating people’s concerns about “dieting affects health”. The two groups’ inflammatory markers and muscle damage markers decreased , while liver damage markers did not change significantly.


In addition, PR and CR procedures significantly improved insulin sensitivity in patients with metabolic syndrome , that is, increased glucose infusion rates (Figure 3).

The homeostatic model of β-cell function (HOMA-beta) was increased and the homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-ir) was decreased under the CR versus PR protocol.


No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity

Figure 3: Participants’ increased insulin sensitivity after CR and PR regimens


In the parametric test described above, as a novel dietary control protocol, the PR protocol had a pleasing performance, and the changes in these symptoms were not temporary, but persisted for at least one month after the patient ended the protocol.

Moreover, the analysis of fecal samples after the PR program showed that there was no significant change in the microbial diversity.

Further, the researchers performed bulk transcriptome analysis on the adipose tissue of CR and PR participants, and the results showed that there was no significant change in the adipose transcriptome.


In dietary restriction, what factors drive the improvement of the body’s metabolism? This article brings us a new answer: restricting protein intake can simulate calorie intake in many ways and help patients with metabolic syndrome to control health parameters such as weight, blood sugar, blood lipids, and blood pressure.

Considering the simplicity of PR operation, this may be a more effective, easier and more promising metabolic adjustment protocol, which has become a boon for patients with metabolic syndrome (Figure 4).


Figure 4: The PR scheme can highly mimic the CR scheme in many ways


This research has brought us a piece of good news: We can properly adjust our diet and reduce protein intake, and we can still control our weight and keep our body healthy!

But the researchers stressed that this study is only applicable to people with metabolic syndrome, and it is uncertain whether it will be applicable to everyone.


Original link:







1.Mooradian, AD Dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nat. Clin. Pract. Endocrinol. Metab. 2009, 5, 150–159.
2. Anderson, RM; Weindruch, R. Metabolic reprogramming in dietary restriction. Interdiscip. Top. Gerontol. 2007, 35, 18–38
3. Newgard, CB; An, J.; Bain, JR; Muehlbauer, MJ; Stevens, RD; Lien, LF; Haqq, AM; Shah, SH; Arlotto, M.; Slentz, CA; amino acid-related metabolic signature that differentiates obese and lean humans and contributes to insulin resistance. Cell Metab. 2009, 9, 311–326.

No need to diet: Reducing protein intake can fight obesity

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.