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J Nutr. 2017 Dec;147(12):2243-2251. doi: 10.3945/jn.117.257873. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Long-Term Intake of a High-Protein Diet Affects Body Phenotype, Metabolism, and Plasma Hormones in Mice.

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CURE-Digestive Diseases Research Center, Department of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Parenteral Nutrition, Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Health Care System and Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; and.
Sable Systems International, North Las Vegas, NV.
CURE-Digestive Diseases Research Center, Department of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA;


Background: High-protein diets (HPDs) recently have been used to obtain body weight and fat mass loss and expand muscle mass. Several studies have documented that HPDs reduce appetite and food intake.Objective: Our goal was to determine the long-term effects of an HPD on body weight, energy intake and expenditure, and metabolic hormones.Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice (8 wk old) were fed either an HPD (60% of energy as protein) or a control diet (CD; 20% of energy as protein) for 12 wk. Body composition and food intakes were determined, and plasma hormone concentrations were measured in mice after being fed and after overnight feed deprivation at several time points.Results: HPD mice had significantly lower body weight (in means ± SEMs; 25.73 ± 1.49 compared with 32.5 ± 1.31 g; P = 0.003) and fat mass (9.55% ± 1.24% compared with 15.78% ± 2.07%; P = 0.05) during the first 6 wk compared with CD mice, and higher lean mass throughout the study starting at week 2 (85.45% ± 2.25% compared with 75.29% ± 1.90%; P = 0.0001). Energy intake, total energy expenditure, and respiratory quotient were significantly lower in HPD compared with CD mice as shown by cumulative energy intake and eating rate. Water vapor was significantly higher in HPD mice during both dark and light phases. In HPD mice, concentrations of leptin [feed-deprived: 41.31 ± 11.60 compared with 3041 ± 683 pg/mL (P = 0.0004); postprandial: 112.5 ± 102.0 compared with 8273 ± 1415 pg/mL (P < 0.0001)] and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) [feed-deprived: 5.664 ± 1.44 compared with 21.31 ± 1.26 pg/mL (P = <0.0001); postprandial: 6.54 ± 2.13 compared with 50.62 ± 11.93 pg/mL (P = 0.0037)] were significantly lower, whereas postprandial glucagon concentrations were higher than in CD-fed mice.Conclusions: In male mice, the 12-wk HPD resulted in short-term body weight and fat mass loss, but throughout the study preserved body lean mass and significantly reduced energy intake and expenditure as well as leptin and GLP-1 concentrations while elevating postprandial glucagon concentrations. This study suggests that long-term use of HPDs may be an effective strategy to decrease energy intake and expenditure and to maintain body lean mass.


appetite and energy intake; high-protein diet; metabolic hormones; metabolism and energy expenditure; respirometry and calorimetry

[Available on 2018-12-01]
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