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12 major health problems caused by high protein intake

Proteins are one of the major nutrients in the food we eat, together with fats and carbohydrates. Besides their role as a nutrient, proteins are the essential component in the structure of the human body and in all processes of growth in the human body. To stay healthy we need to have adequate protein intake in our food. But we need to be careful not to overdo the protein intake. It should be around 30 % of daily intake. Protein share in diet varies in each person and depends on age, physique and activity. If you take too much protein it can harm your health. The following are ways protein can do it.Health issues which are caused by high protein intake


  1. Causes constipation and diverticulosis

One of the main reasons of chronic constipation and diverticulosis is the lack of fibers in ingested food. Fiber-poor food can get to an obstacle in digestion already in the duodenum. There are a few fibers in protein rich food. No matter if it is meat, nuts or even vegetables such as ginger.



2. Increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Your blood levels of HDL, LDL and VLDL can get very high if you often use high protein diet. These cholesterol molecules adhere to the wall of blood vessels and reduce their lumen which causes cardiovascular diseases. One way to deal with that is to use Atkins diet which will help you get your cholesterol level in the reference value.

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3. Causes vitamin deficiency

When you concentrate on a high protein intake you do not pay attention to other nutrients such as vitamins.  If you are on a high protein diet there is a bigger risk of developing symptoms of diseases such as anemia, asthma, night blindness which are caused by a vitamin deficiency.


4. Ketosis development

If you are on a diet which demands a high protein intake you may have nausea or bad  breath. Both of them are side effects of  ketones. Ketones are normally generated substances in our body. But when we ingest a lot of proteins our body starts producing large amounts of ketones. Too much of ketones can create a state of ketosis.




5. Enhances prion diseases

Prion diseases can be very dangerous, even lethal  such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ( the mad cow disease). Prions may cause irreversible changes in the human brain which alter physiological brain functioning. Since prions are protein particles the main entry way into our body is through the meat products we ingest.

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6. Emphasizes the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

The main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is clinical dementia. Dementia is developed in later stages of a disease. Some of the early symptoms are different memory, language or orientation problems. If we take a look at a pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease we can see that one of the main causes of symptom development  are beta amyloid plaques. They are accumulated in the brain and on that way they interfere with signal transmission between neurons. Excessive protein intake can lead to accumulation of proteins in a form of a beta amyloid plaques.



7. Damages the kidney cells

Our body breaks down molecules of protein to its basic elements. One of them is nitrogen which is used as energy source in our body. Nitrogen is carried by the blood throughout the body to the kidneys where it is excreted. When we burden kidney cells (nephrons) with a constant overload of nitrogen we can damage them causing several glomerular diseases. This can result in accumulation of breakdown products in our blood which will disturb homeostasis.




8. Helps gout occurrence

The human body has a natural way of getting rid of the degradation products. If we burden those ways, degradation products can get accumulated in our body. For example, nitrogen is a breakdown product of proteins. It is excreted by the kidneys. When we have an overflow of nitrogen in kidneys it will produce a large amount of uric acid. After that uric acid is accumulated in joints, particularly in joints of the big toe. It will cause excruciating pain and it will force a man to live a sedentary life.

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9. Increases the risk of cancer

A high protein intake in food can lead elevate blood levels of factors which promote cancer, like Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGF-1).  The risk of cancer development is originated if protein p53 is activated. The risk is especially high for lung cancer.

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10. Damages the liver

The main goal of high protein diet is high intake of proteins. That will in the most of cases cause lower intake of carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for human body.Our body has no alternative but to use proteins to generate energy. On that way ketones will be created in great amounts which can cause the liver damage.



11. Decreases bone density

You can change the metabolism of calcium in your body if you are on a high protein diet. Your body will excrete the calcium surplus by frequent urination and on that way it will cause osteomalacia and in more severe cases osteoporosis. Another way our body will deal with calcium surplus is by retaining it in our body in the form of kidney stones.



12. Promotes weight gain

A large number of diseases are caused by overweight. The main cause of weight gain is a large intake of calories combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Protein rich meals are mostly also rich with fat. If we know that there are 9 calories in each gram of fat we can figure out that protein rich meals can cause overweight.

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Variety is the key

The previously mentioned facts should give you an insight what unbalanced diet can do to your body. You should always try to keep your food intake balanced and various. On that way you will have a healthier body.You also need to have fruits and vegetables on your menu.

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