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Protein study identifies “real damage” to arteries – expert classifies

2024-03-05T09:09:46.691Z

Highlights: Protein study identifies “real damage” to arteries – expert classifies. Prof. Dr. Karsten Köhler compared a study on proteins published in February to IPPEN.MEDIA. “As a rule, our diet in Germany is already relatively high in high protein, which means our intake is above our needs,” says Prof. K Öhler. In this country, the German Society for Nutrition eV specifies the recommended amount of proteins for this country.



As of: March 5, 2024, 9:15 a.m

By: Michelle Brey

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Prof. Dr.

Karsten Köhler compared a study on proteins published in February to IPPEN.MEDIA.

© Wirestock/imago/Heddergott/TUM

A high-protein diet is very popular.

But too much protein is not good, as a study has now shown.

Health consequences could therefore arise.

Pittsburgh – Quick to prepare, good in taste: shakes are the choice of many who pay attention to a protein-rich diet.

The areas of application are wide-ranging: Protein is used to build muscle, can also be used as a supplement to a normal diet or as part of a weight loss goal.

A study from Pittsburgh (USA) now shows that excessive consumption can lead to hardening of the arteries.

Professor Dr.

Karsten Köhler classified the results for

IPPEN.MEDIA

.

He is head of the professorship for exercise, nutrition and health at the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Proteins could pose a danger to the arteries

In the study, a research team led by cardiologist Babak Razani discovered a “molecular mechanism by which too much protein in the diet can increase the risk of atherosclerosis.”

The starting point is studies by the cardiologist from 2020. At that time, laboratory experiments demonstrated that high protein intake increases the risk of arteriosclerosis in mice.

The paper, published in February 2024, goes into more detail about its importance for humans.

It appeared in the journal

Nature Metabolism

.

Atherosclerosis: What exactly is it?

Atherosclerosis is colloquially known as calcification of the arteries.

This is where plaque (calcium, fat or connective tissue) builds up on the artery walls.

As a result, the arteries narrow and become inflamed and blood flow is inhibited.

Atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack or lead to a stroke.

There are early signs of hardening of the arteries.

The central result and structure of the protein study from Pittsburgh

  • Number of subjects:

    23 test subjects took part in the study.

  • Structure:

    The test subjects were divided into two groups and received a meal or a shake, each with a high and a lower proportion of proteins.

  • Blood tests before/after the administration and isolation of immune cells:

    In this way, the researchers determined how the amount and composition of the amino acids changed.

    Proteins consist of amino acids.

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What is striking in the results is the high concentration of the amino acid leucine. This affects immune cells (macrophages), which play a crucial role in plaque disposal.

The concrete result: An intake of more than 22 percent of daily calories from proteins has a negative effect on the cells.

“You could be doing real damage to your arteries,” Razani concluded.

Expert advises comparing negative and positive effects of high-protein diets

The fact that an isolated increase in protein intake could also have potentially negative effects only comes as a limited surprise to him, explains nutritionist Prof. Dr.

Köhler

IPPEN.MEDIA

.

He objects: “But you should also keep an overview of the overall context - we also know that increasing protein intake in certain situations (for example during weight loss, intensive strength training or even in old age) can have positive effects.” This must be compared to the negative effects in the overall view.

With regard to the number of test subjects in the human study (23 subjects), Köhler made it clear that a “significantly larger study population” was necessary “in order to be able to draw actual and really health-relevant conclusions.”

A protein-rich diet has benefits and risks

“As a rule, our diet in Germany is already relatively high in protein, which means our intake is above our needs.”

Prof. Dr.

Köhler to IPPEN.MEDIA

In this country, the German Society for Nutrition eV specifies the recommended amount of proteins.

Prof. Dr.

According to Köhler, a diet high in protein can have some advantages.

As examples he cites improving satiety or stopping the loss of muscle mass.

However, there are also risks.

He explained: “For example, patients with kidney damage should follow a low-protein diet.”

Professor Dr.

Karsten Köhler is head of the professorship for exercise, nutrition and health at the Faculty of Sport and Health Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

© Heddergott/TUM

In general, a balanced diet provides “all the necessary nutrients in a balanced ratio,” says the nutritionist.

That is a mixture of:

  • Vegetable and animal proteins

  • Carbohydrates

  • Vegetable (unsaturated) fats

Meanwhile, a study showed that smoking causes long-term damage to the immune system - even years after you quit.

(mbr)

Source: merkur

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