Effect of a LoBAG 30 diet on protein metabolism in men with type 2 diabetes. A Randomized Controlled Trial

Frank Q. Nuttall, Mary C. Gannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: We previously reported that a weight-maintenance diet with a carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio of 30:30:40%, ingested for 5 weeks, improved blood glucose control in subjects with untreated type 2 diabetes. In this study we also determined that insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) were increased. In this report we provide further information. Specifically, 24-hour total and individual amino acids, glucagon and cortisol data are provided. In addition, we determined whether these multiple effectors resulted in a positive nitrogen balance and an increase in fat-free mass. Insulin and IGF-I should stimulate protein accumulation. An increase in amino acids, particularly branched chain amino acids, should facilitate this, whereas glucagon and cortisol could have adverse effects in this regard. Methods: Eight men with untreated type 2 diabetes were studied. A randomized crossover design was used. Data were obtained before and after 5 weeks on a control diet (55% carbohydrate:15% protein:30% fat) and on a 30% carbohydrate:30% protein:40% fat diet. Nitrogen balance and body composition were determined at the beginning and end of each dietary intervention. Results: As expected, the mean 24-hour total amino acid area response was higher after ingesting the 30:30:40 diet. However, the increase was only statistically significant for the branched chain amino acids, and phenylalanine and tyrosine. The 24-hour cortisol profile was unchanged. Glucagon was increased. Nitrogen balance was positive. Body weight was stable. Body composition and computed tomography data indicate no change in the fat-free mass. Conclusion: This high protein, low carbohydrate diet induced a metabolic milieu which strongly favors a positive protein balance, and a positive balance was present. However, an increase in lean (protein) mass was not documented. Whether such a diet in people with type 2 diabetes is useful in preventing or delaying the loss of total lean body mass and/or sarcopenia associated with aging remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalNutrition and Metabolism
StatePublished - 2012


  • Amino acids
  • Body composition
  • Cortisol
  • Fat-free mass
  • Glucagon
  • LoBAG diet
  • Nitrogen balance
  • Protein balance
  • Sarcopenia

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