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Can High Protein Diets Lead to Cancer?

For many healthy people, a high-protein diet is not harmful at all, especially when it is followed for a short time. Some studies that have been made, showed that there are some risks and that several health problems may result if this diet is followed for an extended period of time.

When are protein diets good for our health?

A protein diet is good for our health when we follow it for a short period of time. In case you have kidney or liver disease, then you should check with your doctor first, before you actually start a diet like that. A protein diet can help you lose weight, but only when it is properly followed. The consumption of too many proteins can have the exactly opposite effect. Specialists recommend us to eat around 0,8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, every single day, in our middle age.

What is the link between high protein diets and cancer?

Specialists associate protein with the growth hormone and this is the main reason why they say it’s really dangerous to exaggerate with protein consumption. The growth hormone leads slowly but definitely to cancer. In order to investigate why a high protein diet can lead to cancer, researchers made an experiment on mice and injected them with mouse skin cancer cells. After that, they looked and found out that a high amount of protein in the mice diet promoted the tumor’s survival and growth by increasing the levels of the IGF1 hormone. This is our body’s growth hormone that can lead to cancer. The researchers made a second experiment on 2000 people, randomly selected, and measured the levels of the growth hormone and found out that the people who were on a high-protein diet were 9 percent more likely to die of cancer than the ones that were on a low-protein diet. The explanation is that if we have exceeded the recommended amount of protein, the growth factors go up and they actually start helping our normal cells become cancer cells and develop cancer in the end. However, at older ages, it is important to avoid as much as possible a low-protein diet in order to be healthy and reduce the risk of cancer. Specialists recommend us to follow a low protein diet based on vegetables and plants instead of meat. They suggest a Mediterranean diet, which is high in carbohydrates and low in animal protein.

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