Focus: Oloproteic Diet

The Oloproteic Diet is a 21-day diet therapy. It ensures a relatively rapid weight loss, carried out mainly at the expense of fat mass and without further weight recovery if the subsequent steps are correctly observed.

The principles of the Oloproteic Diet are:

Obtain a negative calorie balance with a very low caloric and leukidic diet (VLCD).

To achieve a balanced nitrogen balance with the administration of amino acids and high quality proteins, in a “normoproteic” amount compared to the patient’s ideal weight, to protect the muscle mass.

Stimulate the production of ketone bodies as an energy source, with euphoric, tonic and anorectic effect.

The best diet is undoubtedly that of eating less. But the scientific work carried out with balanced low-calorie diets has often found a failure of these, reporting reduced percentages of positive results over time. Only patients who have less than 10 kg to lose have any hope of success. What is certain is that the low calorie regimen, when well balanced, remains safe, almost without danger to patients, but it manifests itself difficult to implement and often ineffective for the following reasons:

  • this diet does not take away hunger; fewer patients resist this unpleasant sensation and abandon the prescribed diet after a few weeks
  • this diet is too long, with a reduced weight loss for the first weeks and with a subsequent metabolic adaptation especially in sedentary subjects; slow weight loss is often a de-motivating factor for a patient who has more than 10 kg to lose
  • this diet favors food exceptions because hunger leads to frequent derogations from the limitation of food quantities to be taken
  • The doctor must therefore keep in mind, when administering this diet, that the reduction of caloric intake is almost always accompanied by a lowering of metabolic needs.

A proposed alternative is that of absolute fasting. This regime, which is composed of only water taken at will and from mineral salts, leads to a loss of lean mass that is greater than the decrease in fat mass. Weight reduction occurs mainly at the level of striated muscles. The heart muscle fibers are part of the lean muscle mass so that their compromise can induce possible pathological consequences.

Studies on the nitrogen balance show that with an absolute fast an adult weighing 70 kg loses about 8-12 g of nitrogen every day in the first three days of fasting and 4-6 g of nitrogen per day in the next four weeks. Considering that one gram of nitrogen corresponds to 6.25 g of protein and that the muscle contains about 20%, the loss is 200-300 g of muscle per day. Adding that the protein needs increase under caloric restriction, it is found that after 10 days of fasting the patient has a reduction of about two to three pounds of muscle tissue. From these considerations, many authors began to study the possibility of finding a diet that could give a negative caloric balance by minimizing the loss of lean mass. For this it was necessary to modify the absolute fast with a protein integration.

Bollinger in 1966 tried to add albumin. Apfelbaum in 1970 added casein. Geunth and Verter added glucose with casein in 1974. Baird and Howard in 1975 mixed glucose with amino acids.

It was, however, G.L.Blackburn (University of Harvard) to develop in 1973 the PSMF (Protein Sparing Modified Fast) or VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) with the determination of the protein needs of the organism during the fast; he showed how a caloric deprivation, with an almost complete absence of carbon hydrates, could neutralize the anabolic effect of insulin on the metabolism of fats: in fact, without insulin, lipogenesis is not possible.

Blackburn proved that precise amounts of protein defined, in the course of protein fasting, a change in the metabolic response and could neutralize the negative nitrogen balance. Therefore the dangers of absolute fasting could be minimized by ingesting proteins without carbon hydrates. In these studies, Blackburn codified the exact amount of protein that had to be taken during the fast to protect the noble mass of an individual. Thus the protein fast was born that protects the nitrogenous balance and eliminates hunger thanks to the state of ketosis that accompanies it.

The almost exclusive intake of protein (1.2 g / kg in women and 1.5 g / kg in humans), which represents a very low caloric intake, obliges the body to use its energy reserves.

After the exhaustion of the same in the form of glycogen, it establishes a hepatic neoglucogenesis that will produce 20% of the nutrients (glucose) essential for brain functioning. Glycerol and some amino acids are transformed, in the hepatic and renal, into glucose for a process of neoglucogenesis. Glucose is used, even during protein fasting, by some types of cells (red blood cells, adrenals, certain brain areas, etc.) which for this reason are called glucodependent cells, as they only work in the presence of glucose. The other body cells (such as muscle cells and various organs) are fed by the ketone bodies that are produced thanks to the catabolism of adipose tissue.

So the reduced intake of carbohydrates stimulates lipolysis and ketogenesis, provides energy to the brain and tissues, protects muscle mass thanks to the contribution of high-biological amino acid-protein supplements. In protein diets, endogenous lipids are the main source of energy and their continuous catabolism up to their substantial reduction.

The ketone bodies have a double action:

  • Energy: as energy substrates of the brain, which cover 80% of the needs, with psychotonic effects, antidepressants, with increased intellectual faculties and euphoria (acetone)
  • Anorectic: the ketone bodies for stimulation of the center of satiety, located in the hypothalamus, induce an antifungal physiological effect, with inhibition of the sensation of hunger starting from the second-third day of the beginning of the diet (beta-hydroxybutyric acid)

With the almost total suppression of carbohydrates, present only minimally in permitted vegetables, such as spinach, cucumber, green beans, aubergines, salad, broccoli, zucchini, etc., a rapid drop in insulin is obtained, which prevents the placing in reserve of fat and produces a catabolism thereof for lipolysis. The hydrolysis of triglycerides, contained in the adipocytes, transforms them into glycerol, which in turn helps to improve the neoglucogenesis and in free fatty acids that favor the production of ketone bodies and therefore ketosis.

In fact, lipoproteinlipase hydrolyses triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol. Glycerol is oxidized to the liver in glucose. 40% of the fatty acids produced are used directly in muscle tissue. The other 60% undergoes beta-oxidation in the liver with the formation of Acetyl-CoA. Acetylacetic acid is formed from the subsequent condensation of two Acetyl-CoA molecules. This is transformed, for the most part, into acetone and beta-hydroxy-butyric acid. These three compounds are called: ketone bodies. The correct pancreatic function, peculiarity of the non-diabetic patient, will allow the subsequent reconversion, in the presence of minimal glucose and insulin concentrations, of the ketone bodies in Acetyl-CoA and their subsequent metabolization, thus avoiding an accumulation of ketone bodies that would result in a decompensated ketoacidosis, which would result in a type 1 diabetic who improperly implemented a ketogenic diet.

The Oloproteica Diet was developed at the service of dietetics and nutrition of AORN (National Hospital of Rilievo) “MOSCATI” of Avellino in the late 90s, starting from the studies of Blackburn.

The innovative features of this diet are:

  • A protein and amino acid share directed to the balanced nitrogen balance
  • A very low share of carbohydrates (only those present in vegetables and vegetables allowed)
  • A very low share of lipids (small quantities of extra virgin olive oil to season food)
  • A precise integration of minerals, trace elements, vitamins, antioxidants, alkalisers and substances favoring lipid catabolism.
  • A duration of 21 days, interspersed with low-calorie normoglucidic diets before other cycles of Oloproteic Diet®
    This diet is used for:

Treating the average / severe obesity as part of a weight-loss method that, together with a highly lipolytic therapy, such as the oloprotein diet, involves the use of balanced low-calorie diets that aim to consume weight loss and re-educate the patient to a correct diet.
Combat the localized fat deposits both female (peritrochanteric area, ie lower part of the pelvis and upper part of the thighs) and masculine (on the abdominal level) with a rebalancing of the silhouette.
The result of this diet, not to be confused with the superproteins characterized by excessive and imprecise amounts of proteins and a lack of attention to the quality of the amino acids, is generally constant and allows to lose between 7 and 10% of the starting weight in the only 21 days. To this diet we have attributed the name of “food liposuction” at the end of the years.