Protein is the last thing that will make you gain weight

A randomized 3-way crossover study indicates that high-protein feeding induces de novo lipogenesis in healthy humans (Charidemou et al., 2019)

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First it was protein will kill your kidneys and bone, then it kicked you out of ketosis or was converted straight to glucose. Now, not only does it stimulate de novo lipogenesis (DNL), but it is the amino acids themselves that are literally converted to fat.

Do the biochemical pathways exist? Sure. More so on paper because I doubt very much of the fat stored in your body literally came from protein. I can see if you increased protein enough to drive a big energy surplus, then some more dietary fat would get stored as body fat and you might see increased DNL, but even some older protein overfeeding studies show this doesn’t really happen that much*

*it’s tricky to define the magnitude of a surplus if expenditure keeps going up; with protein, the surplus on paper is usually overestimated

Which brings us to today’s study. Great study design (3-way crossover), single meal prepared & provided to the participants. Small sample size. Weird nutritional controls, although I suspect this decision was more practical than scientific. The high fat diet was very high fat and the high protein diet was… higher than control, but if I were designing this study trying to show ‘protein -> DNL -> fat,’ I’d’ve gone with more than 40g.

I don’t even care that the added protein came from soy, which is high in glutamate, similar to beef, and slightly less insulinogenic than whey.

Indeed, this study was very nuanced…

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