Thursday, November 20, 2014

Protein Consumption, Physical Activity, and Obesity: A New Study Reports the Role of Combining All Three

A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology examines the role of combining whey protein, resistance training, and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese individuals.  The study looked at the role of timed-ingestion of supplemental protein (20 g servings, 3 times per day) added to the diet of overweight/obese adults.  They were randomized to receive whey protein, protein and resistance training, or whey protein and a multi-mode exercise program (PRISE, Protein, Resistance, Interval Training, Stretching, Endurance training). 

Body composition, visceral adipose tissue, lipids, adipokines* and insulin sensitivity were examined.
The researchers examined obese individuals over a 16 week period.  Results are as follows:
·         The PRISE exercisers lost the greatest amount of body weight 2.6% versus the protein and resistance training group and fat mass, 6.6% versus the protein/resistance training group. 
·         There was a 14% decrease in fasting glucose along with improvements in insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR).

Researchers found “evidence to support exercise training and timed-ingestion of whey protein added to the habitual diet of free-living overweight/obese adults, independent of caloric restriction, on total and regional body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and adipokines” (Arciero, et al, 2014). 

*Adipokines (or adipocytokines) are cytokines (cells that signal proteins) that are secreted by adipose tissue; some research suggests they can also be added to adipose-derived hormones. 

Gina (Lesako) Volsko is a Columbus, Ohio based RD and the SCAN blog coordinator.  Contact her at to be a SCAN blogger.  You can find her blogging at Sport2Fork.