High-protein diet in middle age doubles risk of early death, quadruples cancer risks

Sunday, April 06, 2014 by: John Phillip
Tags: high-protein diet, early death, cancer risk

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(NaturalNews) There is an abundance of advice from a wide range of nutrition experts, physicians and the American Medical Association that provide guidance on the best diet to prevent almost every chronic disease, aid weight loss and prevent an early demise. Most of this information is based on outdated, non-scientific information or a need to promote a self-serving cause. Over the past several decades, scientific researchers have been paving a very clear road detailing the optimal path to vibrant health, disease prevention and longevity. Diets that exclude one macronutrient or another may seem to work in the short term but are regularly shown to lead to chronic disease conditions and in some cases an early death.

A research team from the University of Southern California has published the results of a study in the journal Cell Metabolism that explains how a high-protein diet during middle age makes you nearly twice as likely to die, and four times more likely to die from cancer specifically. The debates continue to rage as to how much protein, carbohydrates and fat should be eaten and in what ratio to ensure human health. New research shows that the amount of protein and more specifically the source may hold the key to disease development and progression during our middle adult and senior years.

Animal protein intake fuels inflammatory hormone production to increase cancer risk

The study leader, Dr. Valter Longo, noted, "There's a misconception that because we all eat, understanding nutrition is simple. But the question is not whether a certain diet allows you to do well for three days, but can it help you survive to be 100?"

For the better part of the last two decades, scientists have shown that people following a diet high in animal protein (milk, meat and cheese) are more likely to die of any cause than their low-protein counterparts. Proponents of the popular high-protein diets that exclude most carbohydrates will likely attempt to devalue this research, yet the facts still remain. Authors of this study have determined that excess protein consumption, particularly from animal sources, results in a 74 percent increase in all-cause mortality.

There is no question that eliminating highly processed carbohydrates and sugars from the diet dramatically reduces the risk of many chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and dementia, but replacing those calories with animal protein sources can have an equally detrimental effect. This study also provides an interesting link between age and levels of protein consumption. Researchers found that, up until age 65, excess protein raised levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, a known factor for cancer proliferation. The macronutrient was found to be protective for older adults, as those over 65 who ate a moderate- or high-protein diet were less susceptible to disease.

The study authors concluded that their research "shows that a low-protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality, through a process that involves regulating IGF-I and possibly insulin levels. However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty."

This research is one of a mounting number of studies to clearly associate protein intake with inflammatory hormone levels throughout the body that trigger and promote cancerous cell growth. Limiting protein intake, especially from animal sources through mid-life, is a key factor in limiting cancer risk and extending natural lifespan.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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