Dietary proteins improve endothelial function under fasting conditions but not in the postprandial state, with no effects on markers of low-grade inflammation

K.F.M. Teunissen-Beekman, J. Dopheide, J.M. Geleijnse, S.J. Bakker, E.J. Brink, P.W. de Leeuw, C.G. Schalkwijk, Marleen A van Baak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Endothelial dysfunction (ED) and low-grade inflammation (LGI) have a role in the development of CVD. The two studies reported here explored the effects of dietary proteins and carbohydrates on markers of ED and LGI in overweight/obese individuals with untreated elevated blood pressure. In the first study, fifty-two participants consumed a protein mix or maltodextrin (3x20 g/d) for 4 weeks. Fasting levels and 12 h postprandial responses of markers of ED (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM), soluble endothelial selectin and von Willebrand factor) and markers of LGI (serum amyloid A, C-reactive protein and sICAM) were evaluated before and after intervention. Biomarkers were also combined into mean Z-scores of ED and LGI. The second study compared 4 h postprandial responses of ED and LGI markers in forty-eight participants after ingestion of 0.6 g/kg pea protein, milk protein and egg-white protein. In addition, postprandial responses after maltodextrin intake were compared with a protein mix and sucrose. The first study showed significantly lower fasting ED Z-scores and sICAM after 4 weeks on the high-protein diet (P</=0.02). The postprandial studies found no clear differences of ED and LGI between test meals. However, postprandial sVCAM decreased more after the protein mix compared with maltodextrin in both studies (P</=0.04). In conclusion, dietary protein is beneficial for fasting ED, but not for fasting LGI, after 4 weeks of supplementation. On the basis of Z-scores, postprandial ED and LGI were not differentially affected by protein sources or carbohydrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1819-1828
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2015


  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Endothelial function
  • Inflammation
  • (Pre)hypertension
  • FAT
  • MEN

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