Effects of Quality and Quantity of Protein Intake for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Prevention and Metabolic Control

Chiara Bellia, Alfonso Bellia, David Della-Morte, Elvira Padua, Mauro Lombardo, Giovanni Aulisa, Cristian Moletto, David Della-Morte, Massimiliano Caprio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: The aim of this review is to evaluate the ideal protein quality and quantity and the dietary composition for the prevention and metabolic control of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Introduction: Although some reviews demonstrate the advantages of a diet with a higher protein intake, other reviews have observed that a diet high in carbohydrates, with low-glycaemic index carbohydrates and good fibre intake, is equally effective in improving insulin sensitivity. Methods: Over 2831 articles were screened, and 24 from the last 5 years were analysed and summarised for this review, using the protein, diabetes and insulin glucose metabolic keywords in Pubmed in June 2019. Results: Eleven studies demonstrate that a higher consumption of proteins has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. A higher intake of animal protein seems to be related to an increased risk of T2DM. Four studies show that consumption of meat has a deleterious effect. Higher intake of plant protein and dairy products is associated with a modestly reduced risk. Discussion: Based on the results obtained, for the prevention of T2DM and all disorders related to metabolic syndrome, no ideal dietary composition has yet been found. The advantage of plant protein sources may be related to the foods’ low-glycaemic index due to the high fibre content. However, the right protein quality (animal and plant) and the quantity for T2DM prevention and metabolic control are unclear and need to be investigated with further long-term studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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