Reason Why Middle-Aged Men Should Limit Their Protein Intake

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A new piece of research suggests high-protein diets may slightly increase the risk of heart failure in middle-aged men.

As reported in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, scientists gathered almost 2,500 middle-aged men and followed them for an average of 22 years.

"Given that many people view the benefits of the protein diet as important, it is important to clarify the potential risks and benefits that they may have", says Journey Virthan, one of the editors of the study, a professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland, and adds: "Past studies have linked diets high in protein - especially animal - to the increased risk of type 2 diabetes or even premature death". Over the course of the study, 334 cases of heart failure - when the body is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to remain healthy - were diagnosed.

Generally, there is higher risk of heart failure associated with nearly all protein dietary sources other than proteins from eggs and fish. The study also only found an association between a high-protein diet and heart failure, and can not determine whether changing the amount of protein in a person's diet would prevent heart failure.

49% higher for dairy proteins.

In middle-aged men, there was a trend toward increased risk for heart failure with higher intake of total protein.

Also, we have previously reported that the rejection of gluten (a protein found in wheat and some other cereals) will avoid celiac neuropathy - a disorder in which there is weakness, numbness or pain usually in the feet or hands. (The men in the study were not told to follow any particular diet.) Then, the men were divided into four groups based on how much protein they ate, with the lowest group consuming about 78 grams a day, on average, and the highest group consuming 109 grams a day.

"As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets", said Jyrki Virtanen, study author.

To such conclusion scientists from the University of Eastern Finland.

The rate of heart failure was 33 percent higher for people who ate the most protein-rich diets compared to those who at the least.

Reference: Virtanen, H. E. K., Voutilainen, S., Koskinen, T. T., Mursu, J., Tuomainen, T. -P., & Virtanen, J.