For the study, researchers compared the effects of two high-protein diets with the same number of calories, one from animal protein (AP) and one from plant protein (PP), on metabolic functioning and liver fat.
The researchers concluded that in diabetic patients, the six-week high-protein diet lead to an improvement in glucose metabolism and decrease in liver fat independently from the protein source. The high-protein diet did not have any adverse effects on kidney parameters. Rather the kidney function was actually found to improve in the plant protein group.
The researchers said, "Long-term observational studies with a much bigger cohort are now needed to confirm our findings. We are now looking at the expression of key genes involved fat metabolism, glucose metabolism, inflammation in blood cells and in adipose tissue to see if there are any diet-induced alterations and to understand the effect of the higher amino acid uptake at the molecular level."
This study was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).