According to a new meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients, total protein intake is significantly associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, the risks differ for individual sources of protein.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 72 prospective studies identified through a literature search on the PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science databases.
A significantly positive association was observed between protein intake and T2D incidence, with a relative ratio (RR) of 1.08 (95% CI, 1.05-1.11) for every 5 per cent energy increment from total protein intake. The risk for T2D increased with greater intake of red meat (RR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.06-1.16 for 50 g increment of red meat per day), processed meat (RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.24-1.60 for 50 g increment of processed meat per day), milk (RR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.03 for 100 g increment of milk per day) and eggs (RR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.99-1.03 for one egg per day), whereas the risk decreased with greater intake plant protein (RR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76-0.96 for 5% energy increment from plant protein) and yogurt (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.81-0.92 for 100 g intake per day). No significant dose-response associations were observed for fish, poultry and soy intake.
The authors concluded that "selecting specific optimal intakes (by increasing plant protein and yogurt; and reducing total protein, animal protein including red and processed meat, and eggs) can lead to a significant decrease in risk for T2D."