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22-11-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Diets low in GI and protein reduce hsCRP


Free abstract

MedWire News: A low-glycemic-index diet, and, to a lesser extent, a low-protein diet can reduce low-grade inflammation and associated comorbidities in overweight and obese adults, say researchers.

The team used data from the Diet, Obesity, and Genes (DiOgenes) study to investigate whether improvements in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), lipid parameters, and blood pressure after an initial weight-loss period could be maintained, or further improved, with diets differing in protein content and glycemic index.

The study included 932 overweight adults who achieved a weight loss of 8% or more after an 8-week low-calorie diet. They were randomized to one of five ad libitum diets with either high or low glycemic index or protein content, or a healthy diet according to national guidelines, for 26 weeks.

The average weight loss in the low-calorie stage of the study was 11.23 kg, report Andreas Pfeiffer (Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany) and colleagues in the journal Circulation. This was accompanied by a significant reduction in hsCRP of 1.15 mg/L, as well as reductions in low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

During the 26-week weight maintenance period, the decrease in hsCRP of participants in the low-glycemic-index groups was 0.46 mg/L greater than that in those in the high-glycemic-index groups. Similarly, in the low-protein groups the decrease in hsCRP was 0.25 mg/L greater than in the high-protein groups.

Lipid profiles and blood pressure were not significantly affected by the diets, which indicates that the beneficial effects on blood lipids and blood pressure were "driven by the weight reduction itself but not by the dietary composition," say the researchers.

These data "provide an important argument in favor of low-glycemic diets in obese healthy individuals," conclude Pfeiffer et al.

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By Nikki Withers