A randomised study on the effects of fish protein supplement on glucose tolerance, lipids and body composition in overweight adults

Br J Nutr. 2013 Feb 28;109(4):648-57. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001717. Epub 2012 May 31.


The popularity of high-protein diets for weight reduction is immense. However, the potential benefits from altering the source of dietary protein rather than the amount is scarcely investigated. In the present study, we examined the effects of fish protein supplement on glucose and lipid metabolism in overweight adults. A total of thirty-four overweight adults were randomised to 8 weeks' supplementation with fish protein or placebo tablets (controls). The intake of fish protein supplement was 3 g/d for the first 4 weeks and 6 g/d for the last 4 weeks. In this study, 8 weeks of fish protein supplementation resulted in lower values of fasting glucose (P< 0·05), 2 h postprandial glucose (P< 0·05) and glucose-area under the curve (AUC) (five measurements over 2 h, P< 0·05) after fish protein supplementation compared to controls. Glucose-AUC was decreased after 8 weeks with fish protein supplement compared to baseline (P< 0·05), concomitant with increased 30 min and decreased 90 min and 2 h insulin C-peptide level (P< 0·05), and reduced LDL-cholesterol (P< 0·05). Body muscle % was increased (P< 0·05) and body fat % was reduced (P< 0·05) after 4 weeks' supplementation. Physical activity and energy and macronutrients intake did not change during the course of the study. In conclusion, short-term daily supplementation with a low dose of fish protein may have beneficial effects on blood levels of glucose and LDL-cholesterol as well as glucose tolerance and body composition in overweight adults. The long-term effects of fish protein supplementation is of interest in the context of using more fish as a protein source in the diet, and the effects of inclusion of fish in the diet of individuals with low glucose tolerance should be evaluated.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Composition*
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fish Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Fishes
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fish Proteins
  • Insulin