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An estimated 1 billion people are deficient in protein (yes, billion!). Being deficient in this macronutrient is very bad for your health, but what if you have too much?
Proteins are one of the big macromolecules of life composed of different amino acids, being in the same group as carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acid & one of the primary structural & functional components of every living cell.
Appx 50% of the protein in the human body is in the muscle form, rest comprises of bones, skin & cartilage.
Few of essential amino acids have to be obtained from proteins in the diet since they are not synthesized in the human body. Other non-essential amino acids can be synthesized in the body to build proteins.
Proteins perform a broad range of functions and provide energy (4 Kcal/g).
Generally, Protein requirements depend on your age, physiological status and stress. For instance, more proteins are required by growing children, pregnant women, and individuals during stress or illness.
People over the age of 50 tend to lose more muscle than the average person of a younger age; inadequate protein consumption can be the culprit.
Only about 16% of America’s daily calorie intake is from proteins when it is supposed to be up to 35%.
How much Protein do you need?
The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein
For Adults, is 0.8 g protein/kg body weight/day
For Children, is 1.5 g protein/kg body weight/day,
And For Adolescents (Growing children to adults) 1.0 g protein/kg body weight/day.
Simply, The average male should consume 50-91 grams of protein a day, and 46-75 for the average female.
While protein is great for you, as most things are, too much can be bad. We recommend you to get a routine checkup or consult your dietician before taking any sort of nutrition.
Also, it depends on your work routine, either you are a 9 to 5 sitter, a traveler or an athlete or a sportsperson.
Why are proteins so good for you?
It is found in every single one of our cells, and body parts such as hair and nails are largely made of protein.
Without it, the body cannot repair broken or injured tissue. It can also help synthesize chemicals, enzymes, and hormones. It is also the most essential part of blood, cartilage, skin, and bones.
What happens when you eat too much Animal-Protein?
However, a High protein diet defined as protein intake above the current recommended diet & it is rigorously promoted by many nutritional supplements industries for muscle development and/or body fat loss & madly followed by the youth across the globe.
On the other hand, many scientists claim that the high dose of protein supplements or high dietary protein intake might cause disorders to the human body.
We are not pointing out or degrade it, the aim of this review study is to determine the potential health dangers due to high protein/high meat intake obtained from diet or nutritional supplements based on the human studies existent in the research conducted by PubMed (1967 to present) and Google Scholar (1966 to present).
Research shown the potential dangers on human health due to excessive protein/excessive meat intake above 0.8 g protein/kg body weight/day) in adults, resulted
1) Disorders of Bone and Calcium Homeostasis
a) High Protein Diet generates a large amount of acid in body fluids.
The kidneys respond to this by net acid excretion and on the same side, the skeleton supplies buffer by active resorption of bone resulting in excessive calcium loss.
Moreover, acid loading directly inhibits renal calcium reabsorption leading to Hypercalciuria (means excess calcium in the urine) in combination with the exorbitant bone loss.
Additionally, a low-carbohydrate high-protein (LCHP) diet for appx 6 weeks had increased urinary calcium levels with decreased calcium retention.
b) Dietary Animal Protein v/s Vegetable Protein
A high ratio of dietary animal to vegetable protein increases the rate of bone loss and the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group
Many sources of dietary protein may have different effects on bone metabolism. Animal foods provide predominantly acid precursors (Amino acids precursors are compounds that give amino acids after some reactions), whereas the protein in vegetable foods is supplemented by base precursors which are not found in animal foods.
This Imbalance between dietary acid and base precursors leads to a chronic net dietary acid load that may have adverse consequences on the bone.
Research has shown that elderly women with a high dietary ratio of animal to vegetable protein intake have more rapid femoral neck bone loss and a greater risk of hip fracture than do those with a low ratio.
This suggests that an increase in vegetable protein intake and a decrease in animal protein intake may decrease bone loss and the risk of hip fracture.
2) Disorders of Renal Function (Also Cause Kidney Stones)
Low fluid intake and excessive intake of protein may lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Animal protein is also the major dietary source of purines, excessive animal protein intake may cause hyperuricosuria, a condition present in some uric acid stone formers.
Furthermore, in a study of three 12-day dietary periods during which the diet of the subjects contained vegetable protein, vegetable, and egg protein, or animal protein, it was found that the animal protein-rich diet was associated with the highest excretion of insoluble uric acid due to the reduction in urinary ph.
High dietary intake of purine-rich animal protein may cause renal stone disease.
3) Increase Risk of Cancer, Liver function Disorders & Coronary Artery Disease
Up to 80% of breast, bowel, and prostate cancers are attributed to dietary practices, and international comparisons show strong positive associations with meat consumption.
Red and processed meats rather than white meat seem to be associated with an elevated risk of colon cancer.
As per the integrated series of case‐control studies conducted in northern Italy between 1983 and 1996.
The multivariate odds ratios (ORs) for the highest tertile of red meat intake (≥7 times/week) compared with the lowest (≤3 times/week) were 1.6 for the stomach, 1.9 for colon, 1.7 for rectal, 1.6 for pancreatic, 1.6 for bladder, 1.2 for breast, 1.5 for endometrial and 1.3 for ovarian cancer.
Countries with the lowest cancer mortality rates are those with the lowest meat consumption, and non‐meat eaters compared with meat-eaters had a standardized mortality ratio of 0.61 for all cancers in a prospective study from Britain (Willett, 1994).
However, the relation between meat intake and cancer risk remains open to debate (Willett and Trichopoulos, 1996; World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute of Cancer Research, 1997).
High protein/high meat diet could cause disorders of liver function and precipitated progression of coronary artery disease
Also, focusing on only protein can give you too much salt and not enough calcium, magnesium and/or potassium, which is found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
You need to work on a diet plan that includes fruits & vegetables, so you don’t skip the fiber and other important nutrients.
Protein is one of the important macro-nutrient for your body, of-course deficiency & over-dose may fatal to your body. So, the crux of this post is to make you aware of the importance of adequate protein, Yes, not less or not more.
I do not criticize any meat-lover or applaud veggies. All you need to just balance the protein & other macro & micronutrients.
Make sure you should not surpass your daily consumption requirements as per the set standard of recommended American Dietary Guidelines.