In a new study, researchers found that a diet low in specific building blocks of proteins (amino acids) may be critical for weight loss.
The study was done by a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity have become worldwide epidemics. To prevent diseases, many people try to lose weight by eating low-calorie diets.
However, these diets are very difficult to maintain in the long run.
In the current study, the researchers found that lowering consumption of amino acids may help fight metabolic problems in diabetes and obesity.
They fed obese, pre-diabetic mice a specialized diet low in the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
They found that the diet promoted leanness and improved the regulation of blood sugar.
Despite continuing to eat an unhealthy high-fat and high-sugar diet, mice on the low-BCAA diet still had an improvement in metabolic health.
The researchers said that reducing amino acids called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in diet could help improved metabolic health even when overall calories were not reduced.
They suggest that If the results can be translated to humans, it is possible that a low-BCAA diet could help people lose weight and reduce risks of diabetes and obesity.
The research team hopes that a low-BCAA dietary approach could be an effective way to treat or prevent metabolic syndrome.
In the future, they will examine whether reducing dietary BCAAs can improve the metabolic health of humans.
They will also find out how the specific amino acid composition of dietary protein regulates metabolic health.
The study is published in The Journal of Physiology.
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