Beyond the role of dietary protein and amino acids in the prevention of diet-induced obesity

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Jan 20;15(1):1374-91. doi: 10.3390/ijms15011374.


High-protein diets have been shown to prevent the development of diet-induced obesity and can improve associated metabolic disorders in mice. Dietary leucine supplementation can partially mimic this effect. However, the molecular mechanisms triggering these preventive effects remain to be satisfactorily explained. Here we review studies showing a connection between high protein or total amino nitrogen intake and obligatory water intake. High amino nitrogen intake may possibly lower lipid storage, and prevent insulin resistance. Suggestions are made for further systematical studies to explore the relationship between water consumption, satiety, and energy expenditure. Moreover, these examinations should better distinguish between leucine-specific and unspecific effects. Research in this field can provide important information to justify dietary recommendations and strategies in promoting long-term weight loss and may help to reduce health problems associated with the comorbidities of obesity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Amino Acids / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Diet Therapy
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dietary Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Water / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Water
  • Nitrogen