Protein intake induced an increase in exercise stimulated fat oxidation during stable body weight

Stijn Soenen*, Guy Plasqui, Astrid J. Smeets, Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Protein-rich weight-loss diets spare fat-free mass at the cost of fat mass. The objective was to examine if there is a change in stimulated fat oxidation related to protein intake during stable body weight. Methods: Subjects' (BMI 22±2kg/m2, age 25±8 years) maximal fat oxidation (Fatmax) was assessed during a graded bicycle test, before and after a 3-month dietary-intervention of 2MJ/day supplements exchanged with 2MJ/d of habitual energy intake. The parallel design consisted of protein-rich supplements in the protein group and an isocaloric combination of carbohydrate and fat supplements in the control group. Daily protein intake was determined according to 24-h urine nitrogen. Body composition was measured according to a 4-compartment model by a combination of underwater-weighing technique, deuterium-dilution technique and whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Results: Subjects were weight stable and did not change their physical activity. The protein group (n=12) increased protein intake (11±14g, P<0.05) and had significantly higher daily protein intake vs. control (n=4) (80±21 vs.59±11g, P<0.05). Fatmax increased significantly in the protein group (0.08±0.08g/min, P<0.01). Fat-free mass increased independent of change in body weight (P<0.01), and fat mass and fat percentage decreased (P<0.05). Change in Fatmax was a function of change in protein intake (r=0.623, P<0.05), and not of changes in body composition or VO2max. Conclusion: Increased stimulated fat oxidation was related to increased protein intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-774
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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