A recent article in the FASEB Journal, “Short-term energy deficits increase factors related to muscle degradation,“ confirms what those in the know have been saying for a long time…
…just cutting calories to lose weight isn’t ideal for your body aesthetically OR biologically. A certain percentage of both fat and muscle are lost during the weight loss process.
The good news is that it is possible to offset this effect by consuming a sufficient amount of dietary protein to replenish protein stores during weight loss. According to the article,
Protein consumption slows the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), which is primarily responsible for degrading skeletal muscle.
UPS may also be involved in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome. cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. UPS specifically degrades proteins tagged with an ubiquitin chain.
The study proposes that at least 2-3 times the IOM’s RDA for protein may be the sweet spot for offsetting this catabolic response. More research is needed though before any definitive recommendations can be determined.