Anjalee Wanasinghe Mudiyanselage, PhD Student

Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology
Concordia University

Effects of animal vs plant-based protein in a hypocaloric ketogenic diet on regional subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) T cells in individuals with obesity

Obesity-associated adipose tissue inflammation is a hallmark of obesity-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis. Weight reduction through bariatric surgeries, weight loss medications, and lifestyle modifications has been shown to improve obesity-associated adipose tissue inflammation. Ketogenic and high-protein diets have gained much popularity as rapid and effective methods of weight loss. However, protein sources may have an effect on weight loss outcomes due to their differences in amino acid composition, bioavailability, and digestibility. Our study was designed to investigate the effects of animal vs plant-based protein sources in a hypocaloric high-protein ketogenic diet on regional subcutaneous adipose tissue T cells in individuals with obesity. This study was conducted as a 12-week randomized controlled trial. Following the intervention, Regardless of the protein source, both groups resulted in a significant improvement in weight. We observed a significant increase in mature T helper cells and cytotoxic T cell populations in the plant protein group compared to the animal protein group. This response seems more pronounced in the femoral subcutaneous adipose tissue compartment than in the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue compartment. Further studies are required to understand the underlying mechanisms and implications of these findings.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Anjalee Wanasighe Mudiyanselage is a 1st year PhD student in the Health Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Department at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She worked as a medical officer in Sri Lanka before pursuing her PhD. She is currently working on her thesis project on the effects of animal vs plant-based proteins in high protein hypocaloric ketogenic diet on weight loss outcomes. Her research interests include obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cellular and biochemical responses in adipose tissue inflammation.