Diabetes Health Type 2: Low protein diet may not maintain muscles

By Brenda Neugent

A new study suggests that eating enough protein is as important as limiting carbs for those with type 2 diabetes.

Research has shown that insulin resistance not only impacts the body’s ability to use blood glucose; it also impacts protein metabolism. Canadian researchers recently found that those with type 2 who eat less protein don’t break down protein into useable amino acids as effectively as those who included higher levels of protein in their diets.

Eventually, according to Dr. Stephanie Chevalier of McGill University Health Center at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital, that could lead to the deterioration of muscle tissue.

“If it happens over a long period of time, this could lead to loss of muscle mass. That’s really an issue in our aging population,” said Chevalier in an interview with Reuters.

Although participants in the study were over time able to adapt to a low-protein diet. They did not store as much protein as those who were taking in more protein, and evidence including low levels of nitrogen suggested that muscle mass could be compromised.

Researchers found that boosting protein levels from 10 to 17 percent helped maintain protein metabolism more effectively.

Previous studies have shown that older adults with diabetes lose muscle mass and strength, and lack of proper protein intake could be responsible, Chevalier said.

The study appeared in the journal Clinical Nutrition.


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