High Protein Diet Risk In Older Women

Ok, I need to and I’m going to shed a few pounds. It is the first of the year and now it a good time to do it, especially since it’s on my list of New Year’s resolutions. However, I may wait till Monday to start. Sounds familiar?

There are so many different diets to follow that it is very confusing to the average person. Should we do the Adkin’s Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, which one? So much to choose from. What is the best study to follow? Most importantly, who paid for that study? Here is one to think about and some research.

There have been a number of studies that suggest a diet that is high in protein is beneficial for health, boosting metabolism and aiding weight loss. It might be though, that for older women, a high-protein diet may be more harmful than it is helpful. It is being suggested by the researchers that it may raise their risk of heart failure, especially if the majority of protein is coming from meat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 5.7 million American adults have heart failure. In 2009 this contributed to around 1 in 9 deaths in the U.S. When the heart is no longer able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood around the body to support other organs, it’s heart failure. Those diets high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium are known to raise the risk of heart failure. According to study co-author Dr. Mohamad Firas Barbour of Brown University Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, and his colleagues, a diet high in protein may be just as harmful.

These findings were recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Session 2016 in New Orleans, LA. The protein that is in foods as meat, poultry, dairy products, seafood, beans, peas, and nuts is considered essential for healthy bones, muscles and skin. However, there was a 2014 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism that suggested a link between a high-protein diet and greater risk for cancer, diabetes, and all-cause mortality. Animal-derived proteins are more to blame for negative health implications than the plant-derived proteins, according to

Data from 103,878 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years old were part of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that gave findings that heart failure risk is higher for women who eat more meat protein. They were required to complete a food frequency questionnaire that assessed their daily intake of about 125 different food items between 1993-1998. The total daily protein intake and total amount of daily protein consumed from meat and vegetables was reviewed by the researchers. They also used biomarker data to get more reliable indications of participants’ protein intake that involved assessing subjects’ urinary nitrogen and doubly labeled water levels (a measure of metabolism). At study baseline, all women were free of heart failure and heart failure
development was monitored until 2005. At the end of the study, 1,711 of the women in the study developed heart failure. Those who had a higher total protein intake were found to be at much greater risk of heart failure compared with those who had low total protein intake. Greater risk was among women who consumed most of their protein from meat.

The results accounted for age, race/ethnicity, education level, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, anemia and arterial fibrillation.

–Dr Fredda Branyon