Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Posted by Dave C.

(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 18, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA -- A recent twelve week study showed that people who eat more protein in their diet lose 1.8 extra pounds as well as body fat, compared to those who eat a normal amount. The study revealed that while more protein meant weight and body loss, it did not result in change of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or markers for diabetes risk.

The lead author of the study, Thomas Wycherley, of the University of South Australia in Adelaide said that the extra weight loss indicated by the group who ate more protein was “only modest,” but “it may still represent clinical relevance on a population level.” Wycherley indicated his findings in an email to Reuters Health.

The original protein study was performed by Wycherley and his colleagues and looked at 24 former trials, which included 1,063 participants.

The study’s participants were assigned a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet that was supposed to increase weight loss. While one half was given a diet of 85 grams of protein each day for a 150 pound person, the other half was given a diet of 49 grams of protein each day.

Each trial conducted was made to reduce the same amount of calories. The average weight loss depending on the study was anywhere from 2.4 to 25.1 pounds according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

There is no apparent reason why the findings concerning protein occur, and one obesity researcher even went as far as to question whether or not the study was thorough enough to proclaim such statements that it did.

"The studies are generally far too short to tell impact," Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, told Reuters Health in an email. What's more, he added, "many are inadequately conducted to be relevant."

There are a few explanations of the findings given by Wycherley. One explanation is that the body uses more energy when processing proteins than when processing carbohydrates. Another explanation is that protein helps preserve muscle mass, which burns more calories even when the body is at rest.

The sources of protein in the study came from animal products and vegetables including beans and other legumes.

Wycherley says that protein, more so than carbohydrates, can help people achieve weight loss, or at least it is the best hope. However, because the study was so limited, Dr. Levine said, "it makes no real difference which of the (weight-loss) approaches one chooses."

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