Effect of proteins from different sources on body composition

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Sep;21 Suppl 2:B16-31. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.12.008. Epub 2011 May 11.


High-protein diets have beneficial effects on body fat regulation, but the difference in effect of various types of protein is not known. Thus, this review examines whether proteins from different sources have similar effects on body composition and energy balance. Animal proteins, especially those from dairy, seem to support better muscle protein synthesis than plant proteins. This could potentially enhance energy expenditure, but no conclusion can be drawn from the scant evidence. Some studies, but not all, demonstrate the higher satiating effect of whey and fish proteins than other protein sources. The evidence from intervention studies comparing the effects of different protein sources on body weight is inconclusive. However, body composition was not evaluated precisely in these studies and the literature is still incomplete (e.g. comparative data are missing for legumes and nuts). Protein intake enhances energy expenditure, satiety and fat loss, but there is no clear evidence to indicate whether there is a difference in the effect dependent on the source of the protein, i.e. from animal or plant-based foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Milk Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Satiation / drug effects
  • Weight Loss / drug effects
  • Whey Proteins


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins