A new research report published online in The FASEB Journal now helps explain why building upon the discovery that a high-protein diet reduces muscle loss when dieting.
Protein consumption slows the ubiquitin proteasome system, which is primarily responsible for degrading skeletal muscle.
"Reductions in muscle mass are often an unintended consequence of weight loss, and can have negative health consequences," said Stefan M. Pasiakos, Ph.D., study author from the Military Nutrition Division at the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, MA. "It is our hope that the findings from this well-controlled study will significantly contribute to the development of nutritional interventions designed to aid in the preservation of muscle mass during weight loss."
"A lot of diets and fitness programs focus on losing weight without regard to the type of weight you are losing, whether it be fat, muscle or water," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Fortunately, it appears that by simply having a high protein intake, you can minimize the amount of muscle you lose during your weight loss effort."