A blockbuster new study has found that middle aged men who follow high protein diets may be at higher risk of heart failure. That’s the conclusion of research conducted on nearly 2,500 men aged 42 to 60 who ate the most animal protein and dairy. Scientists who conducted the study published in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal followed their subjects for an average period of 22 years. Over the course of the study, they found 334 cases of heart failure, which happens when the body is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen into the body.
The researchers then divided the participants into four groups based on the types of protein they consumers. They found that the men who ate the most animal protein and dairy were at higher risk of developing heart failure than those who ate the least.
“As many people seem to take the health benefits of high protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets,” said Dr. Jyrki Virtanen, study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland.
But not all high-protein diets are bad.
Interestingly, the men who ate a plant based protein diet had only a 17 percent risk of developing heart failure. Researchers also found that people who ate proteins from fish and eggs did not have the same associated risk of heart failure as the animal protein eaters.
Dr. Kevin Campbell, M.D. a noted cardiologist from North Carolina, tells Newsmax Health that diet is an important part of the prevention of heart disease.
“While there is a great deal of data on the association of protein intake and heart disease, much of it is conflicting. More study is need for now but I think it is important to include lean protein as part of an overall healthy diet. The bottom line is no diet should revolve around one single component. We need lean protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy grains in our to adequately meet our body’s nutritional needs.”