Effects of short-term dietary protein restriction on blood amino acid levels in young men

Kim A. Sjøberg, Dieter Schmoll, Matthew D. W. Piper, Bente Kiens, Adam J. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Pre-clinical studies show that dietary protein restriction (DPR) improves healthspan and retards many age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. While mouse studies have shown that restriction of certain essential amino acids is required for this response, less is known about which amino acids are affected by DPR in humans. Here, using a within-subjects diet design, we examined the effects of dietary protein restriction in the fasted state, as well as acutely after meal feeding, on blood plasma amino acid levels. While very few amino acids were affected by DPR in the fasted state, several proteinogenic AAs such as isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine were lower in the meal-fed state with DPR. In addition, the non-proteinogenic AAs such as 1-and 3-methyl-histidine were also lower with meal feeding during DPR. Lastly, using in silico predictions of the most limiting essential AAs compared with human exome AA usage, we demonstrate that leucine, methionine, and threonine are potentially the most limiting essential AAs with DPR. In summary, acute meal feeding allows more accurate determination of which AAs are affected by dietary interventions, with most essential AAs lowered by DPR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2195
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Amino acids
  • Dietary protein
  • Fasting
  • Meal feeding
  • Restriction

Cite this