British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Section Two: Specific metabolic roles of amino acids, and the paradigm of optimal, as opposed to minimal dietary protein and amino acid requirements for performance, long-term health and optimal organ function

Effects of a high protein diet on body weight and comorbidities associated with obesity

Peter Clifton 

Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Room P5-16 Playford Building, University of South Australia, Frome Rd, Adelaide 5000, SA, Australia


Red meat intake has been frequently associated with the development of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes but vegetable protein has been associated with protection from these diseases. Whether this is related to the protein per se or to the increased polyunsaturated fat or higher fibre levels associated with more vegetarian diets is not clear.

High protein diets are associated with greater satiety and in some studies are associated with greater weight loss compared with high carbohydrate diets especially in an ad libitum design. These diets also lower plasma triglyceride and blood pressure and sometimes spare lean mass. There appear to be no harmful effects of high protein diets on bone density or renal function in weight loss studies.

(Received August 30 2011)

(Revised March 22 2012)

(Accepted March 30 2012)

Key Words:

  • Dietary protein;
  • heart disease;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • weight loss;
  • satiety


Corresponding author: P. Clifton, email