Effects of protein supplementation on fat-free mass in response to different weight loss programs in obese women

Andiara Schwingel, Yoshio Nakata, Yasutomi Katayama, Christopher T. Erb, Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko, Kiyoji Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate whether protein supplementation helps prevent the loss of fat-free mass during weight loss. The sample was composed of seventy-eight obese adult Japanese women, assigned into four different programs: diet-alone (D, n=24), diet-alone with protein supplementation (DP, n=16), diet-plusexercise (DE, n=17), and diet-plus-exercise with protein supplementation (DEP, n=21). All participants restricted their energy intakes to 1200 kcal/day, and participants in DE and DEP had the exercise session including aerobic exercise of approximately 90 min/day, 3 day/week. Participants enrolled in protein supplementation groups received an additional 14 g/day of protein. Measures on body composition were conducted before and after the program by DXA. All programs yielded significant weight (6.9 to 9.5 kg) and fat (4.1 to 7.6%) reduction. Total fat-free mass significantly decreased in D, DP and DE groups, whereas for DEP group the decrease was not significant. Regional fat-free mass lowered for D and DP groups in leg, arms and trunk. For those in DE group, fat-free mass in trunk was not significantly decreased, and for those in DEP group, fat-free mass in leg and trunk did not differ significantly after the program. However, no significant differences of changes in fat-free mass were observed in comparisons among all groups. Our results confirmed the efficiency of weight loss intervention on fat-mass reduction through diet and exercise. However, fat-free mass does not appear to be preserved by protein supplementation, suggesting that its influence on a short-term weight reduction program is not apparent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Brasileira de Cineantropometria e Desempenho Humano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Aerobic exercise
  • Diet
  • Japanese women
  • Obesity
  • Protein supplementation
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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