Too Much Protein in Middle Age 'As Bad As Smoking'

The new Medicure studies tell that low intake of protein can be the key to a healthier and longer life. The scientists also say that it is very important to take into account not only calories during a healthy diet, but also where these calories come from, meaning animal or plant based protein.

At the same time it is known that high-protein diet can help people to lose weight and burn body fat in the shortest timeframe. However if this diet is kept for a long time, it may become harmful for your health and may shorten lifespan.
Valter Longo, a professor from Southern California proved with his colleagues that excessive protein consumption leads to higher risks of diabetes, cancer and death in middle-aged adults. The negative effect can be significantly reduced if it is plant-based protein consumption.
Another study was performed at the University of Sydney. It showed that low protein diets along with high carbohydrates move to longer life spans. The main scientist tells that there were analyzed simple organisms, humans, and mice. Protein delivered from animals is nearly bad as smoking for health.

It was also noticed that:

  • People aged 50 and over who keep a high protein diet are 4 times more likely to die from diabetes or cancer and twice likely to die from any cause in the following 20 years.
  • Those having moderate intake of protein have twice higher chance of developing and dying from cancer.
  • The effects can be significantly reduced or completely disappear among those people whose high-protein intake is mostly plant based.
  • Sounds incredible, but in people over 65 years old the effect is absolutely opposite: high protein diet is linked to a 60% reduced risk of dying from cancer and 28% less risk of dying from any cause compared to people who have moderate protein intake at the same age.

What is a High-Protein Diet?
The researches stated that a high-protein diet is a diet where at least 20% of the calories are taken from protein. It was found out that ability to process protein decreases with age.
Scientists tell that a perfect diet for a long and healthy life is the one with low fat, moderate protein and high in complex carbohydrates intake.