Why Too Much Protein is Bad for You

Mar 16, 2016 04:19 AM EDT | By Mark Jason Alcala

Close

With the popularity of high protein diets these days, one might think that there simply is no limit to the goodness of protein. Alas, everything in excess is bad and this applies to protein as well.

Uses of Protein in the Body

Of course, protein is very important to one's daily diet. According to an article by Neil Osterweil writing for WebMD, protein is important for every cell in the body. In fact, nails and hair mostly made of protein and the nutrient is also needed in the repair and building of tissues, as well as in the production of enzymes and hormones. Bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood require protein.

Although protein is a macronutrient which means that the body needs it in larger amounts, the body has no storage mechanism for protein, unlike fats and carbs. For this reason, it is needed to be consumed daily to ensure the proper functioning of the whole body.

Dangers of Protein Over-consumption

Yet it does not mean that one can't overeat this important nutrient. WebMD lists these possible problems associated with consuming a high-protein diet:

  • High Cholesterol - This is because some sources of protein contain saturated fat which could lead to higher LDL levels and further leading to a higher heart disease risk.
  • Kidney Problems - For people with existing kidney problems, too much protein in their diet could put too much strain on their kidneys and worsen the condition.
  • Osteoporosis and kidney stones - A high protein diet makes one urinate more often with the corresponding calcium depletion through urine. Some experts link this to osteoporosis and kidney stones.

In addition, Dr. Mercola points out some of the reasons why he thinks it is wise to limit one's protein intake.

  • Weight gain - While it is true that replacing most calories obtained from carbs to protein will initial lead to weight loss, it is also possible that eating protein more than what is needed by the body, could trigger weight gain as well. Excess calories, even from eating protein, will simply be converted to sugar and then stored as fat if unused.
  • Yeast Overgrowth - According to Mercola, increased blood sugar levels, even if caused by excessive protein consumption, will feed the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast and even fuel cancer cell growth.
  • Cancer Risk - Dr. Mercola also warns that excessive protein intake stimulates the biochemical pathway named the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This pathway plays a major role in the development of many cancers but if one limits protein intake to what is required by the body, this mTOR remains inactivated, reducing cancer risk.

Benefit of Matching Protein Intake to the Body's Requirement

Apparently, there is another reason why one should try to achieve a protein intake on par with the body's requirement. According to Mercola, recent studies suggest a link between longevity and reduced protein intake, particularly reduced intake of methionine, an amino acid abundant in meats.

However, Mercola suggests that it could be a balancing act of sorts between amino acids. Apparently, there is another type of amino acid called glycine that could lower the levels of methionine.

This seems a bit complicated  that one can't help but ask how one may take advantage of this new-found knowledge. Mercola's answer is intermittent fasting which can help normalize amino acid levels. And bone broth could be resorted to as well since it is high in glycine.

How much protein does one really need?

According to Dr. Mercola's article, there is a very simple way to calculate one's daily protein requirement based on body weight. Dr. Mercola suggests that for every pound of lean body mass, one-half pound of protein per day is necessary. This would mean that for most people, their daily protein requirement would fall between 40 and 70 grams.

This agrees with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended daily intake for adults which are 45 grams a day for women and 56 grams a day for men according to Dr. Mercola.

To be accurate, one must first find out his or her lean body mass. Using this guide, 100 percent (total weight) less body fat percentage is the lean body mass percentage. For example, if one has 20 percent body fat then in follows that 100 less 20 equals 80 percent lean mass. For a 160 pound person, 80 percent of that is 128 pounds (160 x 0.8). Finally, applying the "one-half gram of protein per pound of lean mass" rule, one gets 64 grams protein requirement per day.

© 2018 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
Food Biz
How to Start Sustainable Living from Your Kitchen

How to Start Sustainable Living from Your Kitchen

Have you recently started to notice everyone carrying pretty totes when going out for groceries? Reusable bags are quite a hype as the concerns about climate change are ringing alarms around the world, and rightly so.

5 Edible Flowers with Surprising Health Benefits

5 Edible Flowers with Surprising Health Benefits

Flowers are typically used for ornamental purposes. We cherish their beautiful blossoms or hypnotic scents. But many flowers are also edible and offer surprising health benefits.

God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliev Transform the Food Sector in Russia

Launched in 2014 by Russian real estate kings God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliev, Food City is a unique marketplace where fresh produce, dairy, fish and meat are brought in and traded directly by manufacturers. Because it comes directly from suppliers, food items spend less time in transit and storage and are of higher quality. By cutting out the middleman, it makes it possible for families to buy fresh food at wholesale prices. Located on the Moscow Ring road, Food City is easy to get to by metro or car.

Food Tech
Five Vital Asian-Foods that you should must try

Five Vital Asian-Foods that you should must try

Asian nourishment all in all is substantially more sound than Western cooking. With the absence of dairy fat and added substances, alongside an emphasis on zingy season and crisp fixings, it's anything but difficult to discover solid alternatives on any Asian-propelled menu.

The Gift of Food at Christmas: What’s most popular?

The Gift of Food at Christmas: What’s most popular?

Food is always an excellent gift choice at Christmas. But how do you select which edibles to give your loved ones? Well, help is at hand. Take a look at the following food gift ideas so you can decide who should receive them.

Modern Appliance Excellent Food Packing Machine Online

Modern Appliance Excellent Food Packing Machine Online

Are you interested to keep food fresh longer? Different types of tricks and techniques used to preserve food for a long time and to extend the shelf life of food. One of the best recommended food preserves is a vacuum sealer which meets all the requirements of interested people and a perfect appliance you surely need.

Real Time Analytics