SCIENCE: ARTICLES & LIBRARY


The scientific evidence for the effectiveness of higher protein has been building steadily over the past few years. One study by Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is a good example. The comparative study looked at two different weight-loss approaches.

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A study from Pennington Biomedical Center in Louisiana shows that eating eggs for breakfast can be a potent way to feel more satisfied during the day.

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The question “How much protein should I be getting?” is one which really has no simple answer. But emerging evidence is suggesting that we may need more than was previously believed.

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Ever since the 1970s, nutritionists have been arguing over the role of protein in maintaining bone health. Some claim a high-protein diet makes the body excrete more calcium, which in turn could weaken bones. Others assert just the opposite: That dietary protein is essential for maintaining strong bones. Who's right? Recent research strongly suggests that the protein proponents were right all along.

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Dietary protein intake and renal function

Recent trends in weight loss diets have led to a substantial increase in protein intake by individuals. As a result, the safety of habitually consuming dietary protein in excess of recommended intakes has been questioned. In particular, there is concern that high protein intake may promote renal damage by chronically increasing glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration. There is, however, a serious question as to whether there is significant evidence to support this relationship in healthy individuals. In fact, some studies suggest that hyperfiltration, the purported mechanism for renal damage, is a normal adaptative mechanism that occurs in response to several physiological conditions. This paper reviews the available evidence that increased dietary protein intake is a health concern in terms of the potential to initiate or promote renal disease. While protein restriction may be appropriate for treatment of existing kidney disease, we find no significant evidence for a detrimental effect of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons after centuries of a high protein Western diet.

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/25/abstract

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This article is perfect for you if your goal is to eat better throughout the day without resorting to eating habits that can decrease your energy. It can be challenging to find the time to plan, organize and cook healthy, nutritious meals, but the payoffs are well worth the effort.

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Summary:

The following information was written by Atkins professionals.

The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a low-calorie, high-protein diet (using two different protein supplements) and resistance training (weight lifting), versus a low-calorie diet alone, on body composition changes in overweight police officers. The first group of 10 officers was placed on a low-calorie diet alone. The second group of 14 officers was placed on a low-calorie diet and given 1.5 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day of a casein protein supplement. The third group of 14 officers followed an identical regimen to the second but the supplement consumed was whey-based protein. Both groups 2 and 3 engaged in a resistance-training program in conjunction with their diet. Programs were maintained for 12 weeks. All groups lost an average of 5.5 pounds. At 12 weeks, the average percent body fat with diet alone decreased from 27% to 25%, the casein protein group decreased from 26% to 18% and the whey protein group from 27% to 23%. The average fat loss was 5.5, 15.4 and 9.3 pounds in the three groups respectively. Lean muscle mass gains did not occur in the group that was on a low-calorie diet alone. But the casein group had an average lean muscle mass gain of 8.8 pounds and the whey group an average increase of 4.4 pounds. Average increase in strength for chest, shoulder and legs was 59% for the casein group and 29% for the whey group, resulting in a significant difference as compared with the diet-only group. The researchers concluded that differences in body composition and strength are likely due to improved nitrogen retention (being in positive nitrogen balance, allowing for tissue building) and overall anticatabolic effects (prevention of muscle breakdown) caused by the casein proteins’ peptide (chains of amino acids that make up the protein) content.

 

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Summary:

 

The following information was written by Atkins professionals.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a high-protein intake compared with a “normal”-protein intake on energy substrate utilization (burning protein, fat or carbohydrate for energy). Fourteen men were placed on a standardized diet and exercise regimen for six days. Then, six of the men were placed in a “high-protein" group, lowering carbohydrate content from 58% to 33% (consuming 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight) while eight were placed in a “normal-protein” group (consuming 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight). All subjects exercised for 90 minutes each day on a stationary bicycle. On days when their blood was tested, subjects engaged in two 90-minute bike workouts. When comparing diets, the high-protein, lower-carbohydrate group used more protein for energy during exercise. However, there was no effect on total 24-hour protein utilization. Subjects on the high-protein diet used more fat for energy during exercise as well as during recovery and at rest, compared with the “normal”-protein group. In addition to burning fat for energy, subjects on the high-protein lower- carbohydrate diet were also in positive nitrogen balance, which prevents the body from breaking down body tissue, such as muscle.

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A report published in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine (Feb 13, 2006) adds more evidence to the accumulating research showing that low-carb diets get weight off. The report- which analyzed the findings of five major studies comparing low-fat and low-carb diets-- found that low-carb diets do indeed help people shed pounds more quickly than low-fat regimines.

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In this study, moderately obese subjects consumed one of two different low-carb diets as part of a weight loss program.   MORE
Protein actually improves sports performance, according to four new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American college of Sports Medicine in June.   MORE

Here’s good news for people who don't want to consume red meat, seafood or poultry with every meal: Soy protein is virtually complete, rich in vitamin E, fiber, calcium, magnesium, lecithin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, iron and essential fatty acids, missing only the essential amino acid methionine. In addition, 25 grams of soy protein a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.

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Getting the most from your calories by choosing nutrient dense foods high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats is a great health strategy, no matter what your goals.   MORE
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Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this Site is intended to provide health care advice. Should you have any health care-related questions, please call or see your physician or other health care provider. Consult your physician or health care provider before beginning the Atkins Diet as you would any other weight loss or weight maintenance program. The weight loss phases of the Atkins Diet should not be used by persons on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women.