Too much protein is not good for your arteries


Bodybuilders and gym bunnies should be aware that consuming excessive protein could be harmful to their arteries. — dpa

Protein shakes are the elixir of choice for many of the world’s legions of lycra-clad gym bunnies and flexing tin-shifters: After all, a body needs protein for the repair and recovery of muscles and tissues.

But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing: Getting over 22% of dietary calories from protein, usually obtained from eggs, meat and milk, can cause hardened arteries – a condition that in turn can lead to stroke, heart failure and heart attack.

That’s according to the results of tests on mice and humans done by the Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States, and published in the journal Nature Metabolism.

“Our study shows that dialling up your protein intake in pursuit of better metabolic health is not a panacea.

“You could be doing real damage to your arteries,” warns senior and co-corresponding author Dr Babak Razani, a professor of cardiology.

The Pittsburgh team’s findings fingered leucine, an amino acid in protein, as having “a disproportionate role in driving the pathological pathways linked to atherosclerosis, or stiff, hardened arteries”.

Prof Razani and his colleagues said their work has thrown up more questions, such as “what happens when a person consumes between 15% of daily calories from protein as recommended by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and 22% of daily calories from protein”?

The team said there could still be a “sweet spot” for protein intake that maximises muscle gain, but does not damage arteries. – dpa

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Protein , diet , bodybuilding


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