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Background: There is a great deal of controversy as to whether higher protein intake improves or worsens insulin sensitivity in humans. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of a short-term elevation in dietary protein on hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in twelve older subjects (51-70 yrs) with metabolic syndrome. Methods: Individuals were randomly assigned to one of the dietary groups: recommended protein intake (RPI, 10% of daily calorie intake) or elevated protein intake (EPI, 20% of daily calorie intake) for 4 weeks. Prior to and immediately following the dietary intervention, subjects were studied with primed continuous infusion of [6,6-2H2]glucose and [1-13C]glucose dissolved in drink during the dual tracer oral glucose tolerance test (DT OGTT) to determine hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity. Plasma lipids were measured pre- and post-dietary intervention. Results: In both intervention groups: 1) hepatic insulin sensitivity as assessed by the endogenous glucose rate of appearance (glucose Ra), 2) peripheral insulin sensitivity as assessed by the metabolic clearance rate of glucose normalized to plasma glucose concentration (MCR) and/or the rate of glucose utilization (Rd) or 3) glucose/insulin AUC were unaffected by the diets. Moreover, fasting lipid was not affected by RPI or EPI. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a short-term elevation in EPI with correspondingly higher branched chain amino acid (BCAA) contents has no detrimental impact on hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity or plasma lipid parameters in older adults with metabolic syndrome.
Kim, I. Y., Schutzler, S. E., Azhar, G., Wolfe, R. R., Ferrando, A. A., & Coker, R. H. (2017). Short term elevation in dietary protein intake does not worsen insulin resistance or lipids in older adults with metabolic syndrome: A randomized-controlled trial. BMC Nutrition, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-017-0152-4