Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2012 Jun 12;9(1):55.
doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-55.

Effects of Protein Intake and Gender on Body Composition Changes: A Randomized Clinical Weight Loss Trial

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Effects of Protein Intake and Gender on Body Composition Changes: A Randomized Clinical Weight Loss Trial

Ellen M Evans et al. Nutr Metab (Lond). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Limited data on sex differences in body composition changes in response to higher protein diets (PRO) compared to higher carbohydrate diets (CARB) suggest that a PRO diet helps preserve lean mass (LM) in women more so than in men.

Objective: To compare male and female body composition responses to weight loss diets differing in macronutrient content.

Design: Twelve month randomized clinical trial with 4mo of weight loss and 8mo weight maintenance.

Subjects: Overweight (N = 130; 58 male (M), 72 female (F); BMI = 32.5 ± 0.5 kg/m2) middle-aged subjects were randomized to energy-restricted (deficit ~500 kcal/d) diets providing protein at 1.6 g.kg-1.d-1 (PRO) or 0.8 g.kg-1.d-1 (CARB). LM and fat mass (FM) were measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Body composition outcomes were tested in a repeated measures ANOVA controlling for sex, diet, time and their two- and three-way interactions at 0, 4, 8 and 12mo.

Results: When expressed as percent change from baseline, males and females lost similar amounts of weight at 12mo (M:-11.2 ± 7.1 %, F:-9.9 ± 6.0 %), as did diet groups (PRO:-10.7 ± 6.8 %, CARB:-10.1 ± 6.2 %), with no interaction of gender and diet. A similar pattern emerged for fat mass and lean mass, however percent body fat was significantly influenced by both gender (M:-18.0 ± 12.8 %, F:-7.3 ± 8.1 %, p < 0.05) and diet (PRO:-14.3 ± 11.8 %, CARB:-9.3 ± 11.1 %, p < 0.05), with no gender-diet interaction. Compared to women, men carried an extra 7.0 ± 0.9 % of their total body fat in the trunk (P < 0.01) at baseline, and reduced trunk fat during weight loss more than women (M:-3.0 ± 0.5 %, F:-1.8 ± 0.3 %, p < 0.05). Conversely, women carried 7.2 ± 0.9 % more total body fat in the legs, but loss of total body fat in legs was similar in men and women.

Conclusion: PRO was more effective in reducing percent body fat vs. CARB over 12mo weight loss and maintenance. Men lost percent total body fat and trunk fat more effectively than women. No interactive effects of protein intake and gender are evident.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Change in % fat mass of the whole body (WB), trunk and legs in adult men and women prescribed to a higher protein (PRO) or high carbohydrate (CARB) diet. ∆: PRO males, ○: PRO females, ▼: CARB males, ●: CARB females. Values are mean ± SEM, n = 130, α = 0.05. Analysis performed using an unstructured linear mixed model including diet, sex, time and their two- and three-wayinteractions. No significant sex x diet x time interactions were observed. a significant effect of sex within time. b significant effect of diet within time. c all groups differ from respective baseline values.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Change in the ratio of trunk to leg fat mass for adult men and women prescribed a higher protein (PRO) or a high carbohydrate (CARB) diet. ∆: PRO males, ○: PRO females, ▼: CARB males, ●: CARB females. Values are mean ± SEM, n = 130, α = 0.05. Analysis performed using an unstructured linear mixed model including diet, sex, time and their two- and three-way interactions. No significant sex x diet x time interactions were observed. a significant effect of sex within time. c all groups differ from respective baseline values.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 12 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Nielsen S, Guo Z, Johnson CM, Hensrud DD, Jensen MD. Splanchnic lipolysis in human obesity. J Clin Invest. 2004;113:1582–1588. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Dubnov G, Brzezinski A, Berry EM. Weight control and the management of obesity after menopause: the role of physical activity. Maturitas. 2003;44:89–101. doi: 10.1016/S0378-5122(02)00328-6. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Lemieux S, Prud'homme D, Bouchard C, Tremblay A, Despres JP. Sex differences in the relation of visceral adipose tissue accumulation to total body fatness. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993;58:463–467. - PubMed
    1. Kvist H, Chowdhury B, Grangard U, Tylen U, Sjostrom L. Total and visceral adipose-tissue volumes derived from measurements with computed tomography in adult men and women: predictive equations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988;48:1351–1361. - PubMed
    1. NHLBI. Institute NHLaB. MD, Bethesda; 1998. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: The Evidence Report. - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback