Latest Research: Which Protein has the Greatest Effect on Weight Loss?

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Latest Research: Which Protein has the greatest Effect on Weight Loss?

By Robbie Durand

It seems like there is a trend for plant-based protein powders based on the latest reports from sales of protein powders, but do they live up to the hype? In the past, many old school bodybuilding books recommended a half gallon of milk for bulking.  There have been several vegan based proteins to hit the market, but there is little research to demonstrate their effectiveness compared to other proteins.

infinite_labs, proteinRice protein concentrate is easily digested and is an alternative source to dairy, egg and soy based ones. Soy protein is taken from the soybean plant which you probably also know as being the source of tofu. Researchers wanted to examine how different proteins sources affected fat oxidation and metabolism in older adults. Twenty-six older overweight men (average age 65 years old) were recruited for the study participating in a 4 months of resistance exercise and were randomized into three groups for post-exercise shakes. Each shake contained 280 calories per shake.

rice milk (control),

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dairy [cow’s milk],

soy milk (non-dairy)


The dairy and non-dairy (soy) mixtures contained the same amount of protein, but the control mixture (rice milk) contained relatively no protein.

At the end of the four-month study,  significant decreases were observed with fat mass only in the dairy supplement group and no changes were observed for any other variables.

Additionally, only the dairy group significantly increased the muscle mass to fat mass ratio (+0.6) while body weight increased significantly only in the non-dairy group (1.9kg). To conclude, fat mass may decrease without changes in metabolic parameters during resistance training and dairy supplementation with no caloric restriction without having any impact on metabolic properties.

Previous studies have reported that milk is associated with decreased obesity and fat loss. Scientists say that dietary calcium and Vitamin D in dairy products can help in weight loss. It has been suggested that the reason for this has to do with the calcium component in milk.

Growing evidence from animal and human trials indicates that diets high in calcium lead to reduced obesity rates. But it is milk calcium that has been recently gaining a growing scientific interest.

So it may be best to choose a dairy based protein powder if you’re looking to reduce body fat.

Maltais ML, Perreault K, Courchesne-Loyer A, Lagacé JC, Barsalani A, Dionne IJ. Effect of Resistance Training and Various Sources of Protein Supplementation on Body Fat Mass and Metabolic Profile in Sarcopenic Overweight Elderly Men: A Pilot Study. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Aug 3.
Kratz, M et al.  Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):1-24. The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease.
Holmberg, S. et al.  Scand J Prim Health Care. 2013 Jun;31(2):89-94. High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity: a male cohort study with 12 years’ follow-up.
Zemel MB, Thompson W, Milstead A, Morris K, Campbell P. Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Obes Res. 2004 Apr;12(4):582-90.
Bursey, R. G., Sharkey, T. & Miller, G. D. (1989) High calcium intake lowers weight in lean and fatty Zucker rats. FASEB J. 3137:A265 (abs.)
Zemel, M. B., Shi, H., Zemel, P. C. & DiRienzo, D. (1999) Calcium and calcium-rich diary products reduce body fat. FASEB J. 12:LB211 (abs.).