Evaluating type and amount of dietary protein in relation to metabolic syndrome among Iranian adults: cross-sectional analysis of Fasa Persian cohort study

Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2022 Mar 18;14(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s13098-022-00813-0.


Background and aim: Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several conditions including abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose levels, and hypertension; which all are directly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to evaluate the association of the amount and source of dietary protein with the risk of metabolic syndrome and its components in adult men and women.

Material and method: This study was performed using Persian cohort data, Fasa branch, which included 3660 men and 5262 women. Individuals were divided into five groups for total dietary proteins, plant proteins, and animal proteins using the quintiles, and the odds of incidence for metabolic syndrome and each component was evaluated.

Results: A higher intake of total protein was associated with lower odds of having metabolic syndrome (OR: 0.24 95% CI 0.18-0.33, P-trend < 0.001 in men, OR: 0.42 95% CI 0.34-0.51, P-trend < 0.001 in women) and all of its components. men (OR: 0.35 95% CI 0.25-0.48, P-trend < 0.001) and women (OR: 0.41 95% CI 0.33-0.52, P-trend < 0.001) in the highest quintile of plant protein intake had a reduced prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components. An increased animal protein intake was associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (P-trend < 0.001), a declined risk of having elevated triglycerides (P-trend = 0.016) in men, and a reduced risk of having abdominal obesity in men (P-trend < 0.001) and women (P-trend < 0.001).

Conclusion: A higher consumption of total protein and plant protein was associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components. Increased consumption of animal protein seemed to be related to a lower prevalence abdominal obesity. Also, only in men, animal protein was associated with decreased risk of having metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Animal protein; Dietary protein; Dyslipidemia; Glucose intolerance; Hypertension; Metabolic syndrome; Plant protein.