Is the protein harmful?

The authors of the newest research argue that a high-protein diet is as harmful as smoking. Do not believe a single word!

Author: Jim Stoppani

"The abundance of protein in the diet is as harmful to the body as smoking."

"Cheese and meat cause an early death."

"A link has been found between a high protein diet, premature aging and diabetes."

"Now we can not eat protein. And then what can I do? "

Recently, the Internet has been captured by such headlines, and if you managed to pass their checkpoints, consider that you are very lucky. I will never cease to be surprised at how one single study, backed up by a memorable title, is becoming a hot news, which everyone is making fun of, not bothering even with a little audit of the authenticity of information.

Henceforth, every time you order a double portion of chicken breast with vegetable garnish, you risk getting a caustic remark about the fact that this protein kills you.

Through social networks, many of you were directly interested in my opinion about the research that provoked all these stories, and believe me, I have it! Read the article and arm yourself with arguments that can be presented to friends and relatives when they spread butter on the fifth piece of white bread and seize them pasta.

The sound scientific work is an epidemiological study of the University of Southern California. The term "epidemiological study" means that no experiments are conducted in the laboratories, and scientists simply study the lifestyle characteristics for the search for dependencies and correlations.

Later, scientists conducted laboratory tests on mice and yeast cultures to support their hypothesis, but these experiments are too far from extrapolating their results to humans. Therefore, I will only talk about an epidemiological study in humans.

For this scientific work, scientists have taken the results of a large-scale study known as NHANES III. This is one of the largest studies on health and nutrition in the US, which involved 6 300 people over the age of 50 years. The authors of the basic study collected a huge amount of information about their subjects and observed them for 18 years, including analyzing mortality and causes of death.

Armed with these initial data, the authors of the new study divided the participants into three groups:

  1. High-protein diet: people whose calorie intake is 20% or more was covered by protein.

That's what they found. Participants in the experiment at the age of 50-65 years with a high protein content in the diet (predominantly of animal origin) were at 75% more likely to die during the next 18 years than people consuming little protein. In addition, they also had a higher risk of dying from diabetes.

On the other hand, in the group older than 65 years, the high-protein diet did not increase the rates of overall mortality. Moreover, it turned out that a high-protein diet in the older age group reduces the risk of overall mortality, while a low-protein diet correlates with an increase in similar rates.

However, at any age, a high-protein diet was accompanied by a higher mortality from diabetes.

Armed with these results, scientists seized the opportunity to conclude that every person aged 50-65 must adhere to a diet with a very low protein content, in which the protein accounts for 10% of the energy value of the diet or even less. In a word, if you consume 3 000 calories per day, then every day you should eat about 75 grams of protein, and if you reduce the calorie content to 2 000, the figure will drop to 50 grams!

On the other hand, the researchers concluded that people who have reached 65-year-old age should adhere to a high-protein diet, as a correlation between increased protein intake and a decrease in mortality in old age is revealed. It turns out that for 15 years you should avoid protein and consume it in micro doses, and when 65 turns, you should switch to a high protein diet in no time. According to scientists, this will protect you from loss of muscle mass, senile decrepitude and death.

If the conclusions of scientists were completely based on the results of scientific work, the article you are now reading would not be necessary. However, the research leader Dr. Walter Longo went much further and in his interview, which was later quoted by many, said that the high-protein diet is as harmful to the health of middle-aged people as cigarette smoking.

This widely cited statement has generated hundreds of publications on this issue, and led to the need to refute the allegations. Fortunately, it is not difficult to do this.

In this scientific work, you can find a lot of flaws, but the fatal mistake was how the protein intake was evaluated by the participants in the experiment. Scientists used the method of "24-hour sampling": strictly speaking, the subjects were simply asked what they had eaten the day before. Yes, only one day was counted!

It's ridiculous to even think that the menu of a randomly chosen 24-hour period is representative of the diet that people have been following for 18 years, or 6 570 days of their lives. Not to mention the high probability that a person over 50 and older can not always remember exactly what he had for breakfast today, and especially since he ate yesterday. Quite frankly, we do not have the slightest idea of ​​how the diet of the participants of the experiment looked during all 18 years.

Another problem is related to the fact that scientists took into account only the total consumption of the protein "animal" and "vegetable" origin. No source of animal protein or other components of the diet was indicated. It was an animal protein from lean beef, poultry, dairy products or eggs in combination with an abundance of fresh vegetables and low / moderate carbohydrate intake? Or as a source of protein, a hamburger with bun and French fries served, fried chicken with mashed potatoes, a sandwich with sausage, white bread and mayonnaise?

The study NHANES III was conducted at the end of 1990-x, participated in it people born in 1940-x and before. Now remember what you know about eating habits in the families of the first half of the 20 century, and I'm inclined to believe that the lion's share of the "diets" of the experiment participants comes from a distant past. But, in fact, it does not matter, since it is only a day of several thousand.

However, based on available data, the researchers concluded that carbohydrates had no significant effect on either total mortality or mortality from diabetes. But the consumption of protein adversely affected patients with diabetes. I still somehow believe that chicken fillet, lean beef, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products negatively affect the course of diabetes, but I'm told that a loaf of white bread has nothing to do with it at all. Sorry, I refuse to believe it!

I can name a lot of credible scientific works, which say that one of the best options for therapeutic nutrition for diabetics is a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. Moreover, there is evidence that a simple reduction in carbohydrate intake can reverse the 2 type of diabetes.

Want another proof of the inconsistency of the 24-hour method? No word is said about the level of physical activity and physical exertion of more than 6 000 people. Even if they constantly adhered to a high-protein diet, I guarantee you that in a group of people who trained and led an active lifestyle, the rates of overall mortality and, especially, mortality from diabetes were significantly lower.

If the study itself can be called imperfect, then the advice it generates regarding the diet is boldly called the greatest stupidity I've heard in a long time.

Do not you think it strange that 64-year-old people are almost forbidden to eat protein products, and 66-year-old is recommended to absorb protein in tons? Judge for yourself: if you practically did not eat protein food for 15 years between 50 and 65, then it's too late to begin to lean on protein again in 66. You have already lost a significant amount of muscle mass, and studies have shown that in the elderly it leads to a decrease in the quality of life and shortens its duration. A sudden influx of protein in such a situation may be insufficient and a belated measure.

The relationship between the various components of the diet is too complex to make a scapegoat from one macronutrient. Let's not forget about genetic features, as well as epigenetic (determining the expression of genes) and environmental factors, the influence of which we know far from all. In short, at this stage, any categorical rules regarding nutrition will simply be premature.

Do you have to worry about a high-protein diet? No! Should you switch to a low-protein diet when 50 bites you, and wait 15 years before returning to high-protein foods? No! The results of the study and the conclusions of scientists have more holes than in Swiss cheese, from which we are advised to stay away.

Given how little we know about IGF-1 and carcinogenesis, let's look at this solely from the standpoint of the strength of the argumentation. Is one single day in the life of a stranger enough to convince you to limit the intake of 50-75 protein in grams per day, to become weak and to accept the low quality of life for the sake of questionable theory promoted by several scientists? Of course not!

Always stay strong and healthy. Do what brings you only benefit and improves your state of health – eat protein!

And I heard that the daily norm of cholesterol 280-300 mg. So what happens-Gainers should not be used?

And what about cholesterol? Is it a bit in proteins or gains?

One portion of the heiner contains 100-150 mg of cholesterol, in the whey protein 10-50 mg, in the isolate 0-10 mg. For comparison, in one egg, approximately 350-400 mg of cholesterol.

. which, depending on the method of preparation, is assimilated on 30 (hard-boiled egg or fried) or on 10 (raw yolk) per cent. those. we get in the end the same 100 mg per serving, so think that it's better to swallow – an egg to which the body has adapted for 1000 years of evolution, or a handful of tablets that the nameless American chemist was fading (well if American, and if Balashikha))))

1 portion of the heiner = 25 g protein = 3-4 eggs, not one. PS. "Balashikha chemistry" you no one is not forcing, you can buy a quality natural protein mixture.


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