Animal vs Plant Protein Diets in Type 2 Diabetes

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Total and LDL cholesterol were greatly reduced in both diet groups.
Total and LDL cholesterol were greatly reduced in both diet groups.

HealthDay News – For patients with type 2 diabetes, isocaloric diets high in animal protein or plant protein are associated with similar improvements in metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published online in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Stephanie Sucher, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal, and colleagues compared diets differing in amino acid composition in 44 patients with type 2 diabetes. Isocaloric diets containing 30% of energy as animal protein or plant protein, combined with 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates, were compared in a randomized parallel group study ( identifier: NCT0240985). 

The researchers observed significant decreases in uric acid in both groups, but significantly more in animal protein vs plant protein. There were significant improvements in hemoglobin A1c, diastolic blood pressure, and fasting non-esterified fatty acids in plant but not animal protein. There were significant improvements in animal protein but not plant protein for insulin sensitivity, C-reactive protein, and fasting glucose. In both groups, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly, and there was a decrease from baseline in urinary albumin excretion rate in microalbuminuric participants.

"Isocaloric diets high in animal or plant protein allow similar improvements of metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors in [patients with type 2 diabetes] indicating that the differences in amino acid composition do not affect the metabolic responses to the interventions," the authors wrote.


Sucher S, Markova M, Hornemann S, et al. A comparison of the effects of diets high in animal and plant protein on metabolic and cardiovascular markers in type 2 diabetes a randomized clinical trial [published online February 9, 2017]. Diabetes Metab Obes. doi: 10.1111/dom.12901

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