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Diabetes Diet

Plant Protein Protection

4 years, 11 months ago

12793  1
Posted on Apr 22, 2018, 4 a.m.

Source of dietary protein may have a part in development of type 2 diabetes. This study from researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that plant protein was associated with lower risks of type 2 diabetes, as published in the British Journal of Nutrition.


Overall high intake of protein and animal protein has been linked with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in prior research. Associations of different protein sources for the risk of diabetes is understudied, this study was conducted to analyse associations of dietary protein with the risk of type 2 diabetes.

At baseline researchers analysed diets of 2,332 men between the ages of 42-50 would did not have diabetes, 19 years later at follow up 432 of these men had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Participants with healthy lifestyles and high intake of plant protein had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants with the highest intake of plant protein were 35% less than those with the lowest intake. Grains were found to be the main sources of plant protein along with potatoes and other vegetable in this study.


High intake of animal protein was associated with increased risks of type 2 diabetes. Strongest associations were found in consumption of processed and unprocessed red meats. Links between consuming meat and increased risk of diabetes is likely to be caused by compounds found within meat other than protein as meat protein itself was not associated with the risk of diabetes. Overall intake of protein, dairy protein, fish protein, or animal protein were not associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. High consumption of egg protein was associated with lower risk of diabetes.


Researcher estimated replacing 5 grams of animal protein with plant protein would lower the risks of diabetes by 18% using computational models. Plant protein consumption was associated with lower blood glucose levels. Findings from this study suggest that a diet rich in plant protein may help prevent type 2 diabetes.



Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Heli E. K. Virtanen, Timo T. Koskinen, Sari Voutilainen, Jaakko Mursu, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Petra Kokko, Jyrki K. Virtanen. Intake of different dietary proteins and risk of type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114517000745




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