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      Dietary Intake of Total, Animal, and Vegetable Protein and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-NL Study


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          Dietary recommendations are focused mainly on relative dietary fat and carbohydrate content in relation to diabetes risk. Meanwhile, high-protein diets may contribute to disturbance of glucose metabolism, but evidence from prospective studies is scarce. We examined the association among dietary total, vegetable, and animal protein intake and diabetes incidence and whether consuming 5 energy % from protein at the expense of 5 energy % from either carbohydrates or fat was associated with diabetes risk.


          A prospective cohort study was conducted among 38,094 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-NL study. Dietary protein intake was measured with a validated food frequency questionnaire. Incident diabetes was verified against medical records.


          During 10 years of follow-up, 918 incident cases of diabetes were documented. Diabetes risk increased with higher total protein (hazard ratio 2.15 [95% CI 1.77–2.60] highest vs. lowest quartile) and animal protein (2.18 [1.80–2.63]) intake. Adjustment for confounders did not materially change these results. Further adjustment for adiposity measures attenuated the associations. Vegetable protein was not related to diabetes. Consuming 5 energy % from total or animal protein at the expense of 5 energy % from carbohydrates or fat increased diabetes risk.


          Diets high in animal protein are associated with an increased diabetes risk. Our findings also suggest a similar association for total protein itself instead of only animal sources. Consumption of energy from protein at the expense of energy from either carbohydrates or fat may similarly increase diabetes risk. This finding indicates that accounting for protein content in dietary recommendations for diabetes prevention may be useful.

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          Onset of NIDDM occurs at least 4-7 yr before clinical diagnosis.

          To investigate duration of the period between diabetes onset and its clinical diagnosis. Two population-based groups of white patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) in the United States and Australia were studied. Prevalence of retinopathy and duration of diabetes subsequent to clinical diagnosis were determined for all subjects. Weighted linear regression was used to examine the relationship between diabetes duration and prevalence of retinopathy. Prevalence of retinopathy at clinical diagnosis of diabetes was estimated to be 20.8% in the U.S. and 9.9% in Australia and increased linearly with longer duration of diabetes. By extrapolating this linear relationship to the time when retinopathy prevalence was estimated to be zero, onset of detectable retinopathy was calculated to have occurred approximately 4-7 yr before diagnosis of NIDDM. Because other data indicate that diabetes may be present for 5 yr before retinopathy becomes evident, onset of NIDDM may occur 9-12 yr before its clinical diagnosis. These findings suggest that undiagnosed NIDDM is not a benign condition. Clinically significant morbidity is present at diagnosis and for years before diagnosis. During this preclinical period, treatment is not being offered for diabetes or its specific complications, despite the fact that reduction in hyperglycemia, hypertension, and cardiovascular risk factors is believed to benefit patients. Imprecise dating of diabetes onset also obscures investigations of the etiology of NIDDM and studies of the nature and importance of risk factors for diabetes complications.
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            A physical activity questionnaire for the elderly.

            A validated physical activity questionnaire for young adults was adapted and validated for use in free living, apparently healthy people, aged 63-80 yr. Test-retest reliability of the questionnaire on 29 participants was 0.89 as determined by Spearman's correlation coefficient. Further classification by tertiles of activity resulted in 72% of the participants being correctly classified and 0% grossly misclassified on two separate occasions. In a similar group of 31 subjects, classifications based on questionnaire activity scores were compared with classifications obtained by repeated 24-h activity recalls and pedometer measurements, showing Spearman's correlations of 0.78 and 0.73, for both methods, respectively. Seventy-one and 67% of the subjects, respectively, were classified in the same activity tertile for both methods. It is concluded that the questionnaire provides a reliable and valid method for classifying elderly subjects into categories of high, medium, and low physical activity.
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              Glycemic index, glycemic load, and dietary fiber intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes in younger and middle-aged women.

              Increasing evidence suggests an important role of carbohydrate quality in the development of type 2 diabetes. Our objective was to prospectively examine the association between glycemic index, glycemic load, and dietary fiber and the risk of type 2 diabetes in a large cohort of young women. In 1991, 91249 women completed a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire that assessed dietary intake. The women were followed for 8 y for the development of incident type 2 diabetes, and dietary information was updated in 1995. We identified 741 incident cases of confirmed type 2 diabetes during 8 y (716 300 person-years) of follow-up. After adjustment for age, body mass index, family history of diabetes, and other potential confounders, glycemic index was significantly associated with an increased risk of diabetes (multivariate relative risks for quintiles 1-5, respectively: 1, 1.15, 1.07, 1.27, and 1.59; 95% CI: 1.21, 2.10; P for trend = 0.001). Conversely, cereal fiber intake was associated with a decreased risk of diabetes (multivariate relative risks for quintiles 1-5, respectively: 1, 0.85, 0.87, 0.82, and 0.64; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.86; P for trend = 0.004). Glycemic load was not significantly associated with risk in the overall cohort (multivariate relative risks for quintiles 1-5, respectively: 1, 1.31, 1.20, 1.14, and 1.33; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.91; P for trend = 0.21). A diet high in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and low in cereal fiber is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

                Author and article information

                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                American Diabetes Association
                January 2010
                17 October 2009
                : 33
                : 1
                : 43-48
                [1] 1Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands;
                [2] 2Center for Prevention and Health Services Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands;
                [3] 3Center for Nutrition and Health, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands.
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Ivonne Sluijs, i.sluijs-2@ 123456umcutrecht.nl .
                © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

                Original Research
                Epidemiology/Health Services Research

                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                Endocrinology & Diabetes


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