Protein intake during energy restriction: Effects on body composition and markers of metabolic and cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women

Anne K. Mahon, Michael G. Flynn, Laura K. Stewart, Brian K. McFarlin, Heidi B. Iglay, Richard D. Mattes, Roseann M. Lyle, Robert V. Considine, Wayne W. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Objective: The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of dietary protein intake on energy restriction (ER)-induced changes in body mass and body composition. Clinical markers of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases were also measured. Design: 54 postmenopausal women, age 58 ± 2 y, body mass index 29.6 ± 0.8 kg/m2, were assigned to one of four groups. For 9 weeks, three ER groups ate a 1000 kcal/d lacto-ovo vegetarian basal diet plus 250 kcal/d of either beef (BEEF, n = 14), chicken (CHICKEN, n = 15), or carbohydrate/fat foods (CARB (lacto-ovo), n = 14), while a control group (CON, n = 11) consumed their habitual diets. Results: Energy intake was lower in the ER groups compared to CON (BEEF. 1114 ± 155 kcal/d, CHO: PRO: FAT, 46:24:30 % of energy intake; CHICKEN, 1098 ± 203 kcal/d, 51:25:24; CARB 1158 ± 341 kcal/d, 59:17:24; CON, 1570 ± 633 kcal/d, 47:20:33), but did not differ among ER groups. For all ER subjects combined, body mass (-6.7 ± 2.4 kg, 9 %), fat mass (-4.6 ± 1.9 kg, 13 %), and fat-free mass (-2.1 ± 1.1 kg, 5 %) decreased. These responses did not differ among the ER groups, except for body mass (CHICKEN -7.9 ± 2.6 kg a; BEEF -6.6 ± 2.7 kga,b; CARB -5.6 ± 1.8 kgb; CON -1.2 ± 1.2 kgc; values with a difference superscript differ, p < 0.05). From PRE (week 0) to POST (week 9), total and LDL cholesterol decreased ∼12%, with no differences among groups. Triacylglycerol, HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin were not changed over time or differentially affected by diet. Conclusions: Overweight postmenopausal women can achieve significant weight loss and comparable short-term improvements in body composition and lipid-lipoprotein profile by consuming either a moderate-protein (25% of energy intake) poultry- or beef-containing diet or a lacto-ovo vegetarian protein (17% of energy intake) diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007



  • Adiponectin
  • Beef
  • DXA
  • Lipoprotein-lipid profile
  • Poultry
  • Red meat
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this