Diabetics benefit from high-protein diets without risk, study finds

January 15, 2014 by David Ellis

(Medical Xpress)—Obese people with diabetes are able to lose weight on high-protein diets and see improvement in both cardiovascular and renal health, despite initial concerns about the impact on their renal health.

That's according to research conducted by University of Adelaide PhD student Eva Pedersen, who compared the effects of a high-protein and standard diet in a year-long study involving 45 with type 2 diabetes.

The results show that weight loss achieved by both diets resulted in a range of benefits for the participants.

"High-protein diets are commonly used in our community, but concerns have been raised about the potential harmful effects of these diets on diabetic people's renal function, which is often already compromised due to their condition," says senior author Professor Peter Clifton, Affiliate Professor at the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine and Eva Pedersen's supervisor.

Within the first six months of the study, both diets helped the participants to , with almost 9% of body weight lost by those on the high-protein diet and more than 6% by those on the standard diet. Weight loss in both groups plateaued after that time.

"Far from seeing any problems caused by the high-protein diet, the participants' weight loss resulted in improvements to their renal health, as well as to their overall and the control of their blood-sugar levels," says Professor Clifton, who is also co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book.

"These benefits were seen in participants on both the high-protein and the , which is a good message for diabetic people who are looking to lose weight and improve their wellbeing.

"Even modest has been shown to provide a range of health improvements for diabetic people."

The results of this study have been published online in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases and in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Explore further: Calories, not protein or carbs, are key to weight loss for people with diabetes

More information: E. Pedersen, D.R. Jesudason, P.M. Clifton, "High protein weight loss diets in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus," Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Available online 2 December 2013, ISSN 0939-4753, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2013.11.003.

Related Stories

Do low-carb diets damage the kidneys?

May 31, 2012

Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets—like the Atkins diet—have been popular among dieters for years. For just as long, experts have worried that such diets might be harmful to the kidneys. A study appearing in an ...

Obese stomachs tell us diets are doomed to fail

September 16, 2013

The way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Recommended for you

Major fall in diabetes-related amputations since the 1990s

November 22, 2015

A major new study has found a significant reduction in diabetes-related amputations since the mid-1990s, credited to improvements in diabetes care over this period. The research is published in Diabetologia (the journal of ...

Blocking immune cell treats new type of age-related diabetes

November 18, 2015

Diabetes is often the result of obesity and poor diet choices, but for some older adults the disease might simply be a consequence of aging. New research has discovered that diabetes—or insulin resistance—in aged, lean ...

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.