High-protein diet linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes

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Scientists from Wuhan University and elsewhere found eating a high-protein diet is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not make enough insulin or it does not respond to it effectively.

We need insulin to process the glucose in food to get energy. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include feeling tired, hungry or thirsty, and passing more urine.

Lack of physical activity, being overweight and having a poor diet increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Keeping active, with a healthy diet and weight, can help prevent or delay the disease.

Previous evidence on the associations of egg, cholesterol, and protein intake with the risk of type 2 diabetes is inconsistent.

In the current study, researchers conducted a study to explore these associations among Chinese adults. They used data from 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2011 from the China Health and Nutrition Survey.

Participants were 18 years of age and older. They did not have diabetes before the study, and their energy intake was not extreme (men: between 800 kcal and 6000 kcal; women: between 600 kcal and 4000 kcal).

Respondents were classified into four groups according to quartiles of egg, cholesterol, and protein intake per day.

In addition, the number of eggs per day was calculated by dividing egg intake in grams by 50 g. Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was self-reported.

The researchers found over an average of 6-year follow-up, 209 developed type 2 diabetes.

The risk of type 2 diabetes for people in the highest compared with the lowest protein intake quartile was much higher.

The diabetes risk in people who ate more than 3 eggs/day was the highest. Cholesterol intake was not linked to type 2 diabetes.

Based on the findings, the team suggests that people with the highest protein intake had a 2-fold increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those with the lowest protein intake.

A high intake of egg, but not dietary cholesterol, was linked to type 2 diabetes.

The research was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Shuai Yuan et al.

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