Protein Leverage: Insights from Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer

Dive into the captivating realm of protein leverage through the lens of Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer. Discover how their seminal research elucidates our dietary inclinations and paves the path towards a balanced and health-centric approach to nutrition.

University of Sydney Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer’s work in protein leverage is perhaps the most important body of research around, empowering us to understand our appetite and what leads us to eat more (or less) than we need to.  

Professor Stephen Simpson is the executive director of Obesity Australia and the academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre.    PubMed shows that he has published a whopping 361 journal articles

Professors David Raubenheimer, originally from South Africa, began working with Professor Simpson as a PhD student in Oxford.  Many of his 197 research articles are co-authored with Professor Simpson.  

They are perhaps best known for their 2005 Protein Leverage Hypothesis paper, which aligns with much of our research and analysis of data from people using Nutrient Optimiser.   

In 2012 they published The Nature of Nutrition, and in 2020 they published Eat Like the Animals to bring their research to the public. In  August last year, I wrote a blog discussing Eat Like the Animals.  They subsequently reached out to start a dialogue to discuss some points of difference and agreed to take the time to come on for a podcast chat.  

It was such a pleasure and honour to discuss a range of topics around their groundbreaking research, including:  

  • How does looking at insects and animals give us unique insights into human biology?
  • How did the Protein Leverage Hypothesis come about?  How did you go from studying insects and animals to cracking the code for human nutrition?  
  • What were some of the objections to the acceptance of the Protein Leverage Hypothesis?  
  • What are the implications of protein leverage for diabetes and blood sugar management?  
  • Is protein leverage about eating more protein or less energy from carbs and fat?  
  • Why is it crucial to think about the interaction of all three macronutrients?  
  • How does someone know if they are getting adequate protein based on their goals and context?  
  • What are the downsides of a chronically high protein percentage?  When should someone add more carbs and/or fat in their diet rather than more protein?  
  • What does the future hold in translating this into the public consciousness?
  • How does your research affect the way you eat at home?  
  • Do you have any tips on how people can apply this practically in their lives?  


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