Effects of high-protein diets on body weight, glycaemic control, blood lipids and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 14;110(5):781-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513002055. Epub 2013 Jul 5.


High-protein diets are popular for weight management, but the health effects of such diets in diabetic persons are inconclusive. The aim of the present meta-analysis was to examine the effects of high-protein diets on body weight and metabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. We searched the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases for relevant randomised trials up to August 2012. Either a fixed- or a random-effects model was used to combine the net changes in each outcome from baseline to the end of the intervention. Overall, nine trials including a total of 418 diabetic patients met our inclusion criteria. The study duration ranged from 4 to 24 weeks. The actual intake of dietary protein ranged from 25 to 32% of total energy in the intervention groups and from 15 to 20% in the control groups. Compared with the control diets, high-protein diets resulted in more weight loss (pooled mean difference: 22.08, 95% CI 23.25, 20.90 kg). High-protein diets significantly decreased glycated Hb A1C (HbA1C) levels by 0.52 (95% CI 20.90, 20.14) %, but did not affect the fasting blood glucose levels. There were no differences in lipid profiles. The pooled net changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 23.13 (95% CI 26.58, 0.32)mmHg and 21.86 (95% CI 24.26, 0.56) mmHg, respectively. However, two studies reported a large influence on weight loss and HbA1C levels, respectively. In summary, high-protein diets (within 6 months) may have some beneficial effects on weight loss, HbA1C levels and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, further investigations are still required to draw a conclusion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Lipids