Can Dietary Protein Boost Lipid Metabolism and Weight Loss? – 22311 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA

Previously we looked at fructose (sugar) impact on metabolism and health in general, but this time we will look closer if protein diet can help those who want to boost lipid metabolism and weight loss to understand more about high protein diet.

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How does protein affect metabolism?

Protein and metabolism have a straightforward connection. Although both have specific calories, they can help the body to use more calories than with carbohydrates. Therefore, protein boosts metabolism and prevents body fat storage.

The positive effects of protein:

Thermic effects

According to David Zinczenko, the “body uses more calories to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 calories”).[1] This phenomenon is a thermic effect with heat generated from this higher energy output. For carbohydrates and fats, this effect is significantly lower.

Decrease of insulin level

Protein meals can prevent the rise of high blood sugar and blood storage. On the other hand, carbohydrates raise insulin and slow down or completely stop fat burning. Therefore, protein meals can help a person to lose weight with burning the calories.

Decrease of breakdown

A rapid calory breakdown is not always that good because if the body runs out of energy from carbohydrates, the body turns to calories that are stored in muscles and fat. If there is no ready “amino acids from dietary protein, the body turns to muscle for a source of energy.”[2]

Increase of energy

Protein is very beneficial for energy that is necessary for numerous body functions and workouts. It is more likely to add some pounds of carbohydrates and fats.

Decrease of cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is not that good if its level is high because it breaks down muscle cells and stops the fat burning.

One of the high protein diet research articles shows how high dietary protein reduces fat storage in the animal subcutaneous adipose tissue.[3] The research examined 60 pigs. They had high and low protein diets. There was an examination of their adipose tissues: protein content, adipocyte size, lipid metabolism, enzymes. The results showed that high protein diet “reduced adipocyte size, fat meat percentage and backfat thickness, but significantly increased daily gain, lean meat percentage and loin eye area at 60 and 100 kg.”3 However, there was not a high difference in glucose and insulin concentration. Interestingly, pigs had the different impact of dietary protein on their lipid transport, lipolysis, and oxidation in different body weight.

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Excess fat deposition (except intramuscular fat) is a health risk to humans. Fatty acids play a significant role in metabolism and body fat that can lead to obesity and further problems for humans.


[1] The Abs Diet. Accessed from: https://www.slideshare.net/hunter2302/the-abs-diet-david-zinczenko-37372508rel=”nofollow”

[2] The Effects of a High Protein Diet on Metabolism. Accessed from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/248410-the-effects-of-a-high-protein-diet-on-metabolism/rel=”nofollow”

[3] Impact of dietary protein on lipid metabolism-related gene expression in porcine adipose tissue. Accessed from: https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-7-6rel=”nofollow”

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