Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism
Metabolic syndrome is a precursor to many leading causes of death in the United States including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Diet plays a major role in preventing or exacerbating the development of metabolic syndrome. Increasing plant protein intake may help to reduce risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible relationship between metabolic syndrome progression and percent of protein from plant sources in the diet.
The ARIC dataset was used to compare changes in the number of metabolic syndrome criteria (0-5) over a 9-year period to average percent of protein from plant sources for 10,038 Americans age 45-64. Quartiles of plant protein intake were controlled for important covariates in linear regression.
As hypothesized, quartiles with higher percentages of protein intake from plant sources showed a decrease in metabolic syndrome score [B (change in metabolic syndrome score over 9 years per plant protein quartile) = -0.039; 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.063, -0.016] over 9 years of follow up. Waist circumference was the most significantly associated metabolic syndrome factor (B = -0.053; 95% CI -0.030, -0.011). A decrease in BMI was similarly correlated with higher intakes of plant proteins (B = -0.077; 95% CI -0.214, -0.0112).
These results suggest that a higher intake of plant proteins could be protective against increased BMI, waist circumference, and worsening metabolic syndrome and therefore may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
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