Friday February 28, 2020

High-Protein Diets May Increase Heart Attack Risk: Study

High-protein diets clog arteries, up heart disease risk

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Heart Attack
High-protein diets may help people lose weight and build muscle, but there is a downside to it a" a greater heart attack risk. Pixabay

High-protein diets may help people lose weight and build muscle, but there is a downside to it a” a greater heart attack risk, says a health news and study. Researchers now report that high-protein diets boost artery-clogging plaque.

The research in mice showed that high-protein diets spur unstable plaque — the kind most prone to rupturing and causing blocked arteries.

More plaque buildup in the arteries, particularly if it’s unstable, increases the risk of heart attack.

“There are clear weight-loss benefits to high-protein diets, which has boosted their popularity in recent years,” said senior author Babak Razani, associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Heart Attack
More plaque buildup in the arteries, particularly if it’s unstable, increases the risk of heart attack. Pixabay

“But animal studies and some large epidemiological studies in people have linked high dietary protein to cardiovascular problems. We decided to take a look at whether there is truly a causal link between high dietary protein and poorer cardiovascular health,” Razani added.

The researchers studied mice who were fed a high-fat diet to deliberately induce atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries.

Some of the mice received a high-fat diet that was also high in protein. And others were fed a high-fat, low-protein diet for comparison.

The mice on the high-fat, high-protein diet developed worse atherosclerosis — about 30 per cent more plaque in the arteries — than mice on the high-fat, normal-protein diet, despite the fact that the mice eating more protein did not gain weight, unlike the mice on the high-fat, normal-protein diet.

“A couple of a scoop of protein powder in a milkshake or smoothie adds something like 40 grams of protein — almost equivalent to the daily recommended intake,” Razani said.

“To see if protein has an effect on cardiovascular health, we tripled the amount of protein that the mice receive in the high-fat, high-protein diet — keeping the fat constant. Protein went from 15 per cent to 46 per cent of calories for these mice”.

Heart attack
High-Protein Intake may affect your cardiovascular health. Pixabay

Plaque contains a mix of fat, cholesterol, calcium deposits and dead cells. Past work by Razani’s team and other groups has shown that immune cells called macrophages work to clean up plaque in the arteries.

But the environment inside plaque can overwhelm these cells, and when such cells die, they make the problem worse, contributing to plaque buildup and increasing plaque complexity.

“In mice on the high-protein diet, their plaques were a macrophage graveyard,” Razani informed.

To understand how high dietary protein might increase plaque complexity, Razani and his colleagues also studied the path protein takes after it has been digested — broken down into its original building blocks, called amino acids.

Also Read- Lower Physical Activity in Adulthood Leads to Obesity: Study

“This study is not the first to show a telltale increase in plaque with high-protein diets, but it offers a deeper understanding of the impact of high protein with the detailed analysis of the plaques,” said Razani.

“This work not only defines the critical processes underlying the cardiovascular risks of dietary protein but also lays the groundwork for targeting these pathways in treating heart disease,” he added. (IANS)

  • 5yak5

    What about the elderly? I have read that they need more protein to minimize sarcopenia. I have read that leucine, an amino acid, spares muscle mass in the elderly.

Next Story

Air Pollution Increases Risk of Developing Kidney Diseases

India may face kidney diseases due to air pollution

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Kidney disease pollution
People living in countries with higher levels of air pollution such as India and China may face higher risks of developing kidney diseases. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people living in countries with higher levels of air pollution such as India and China may face higher risks of developing kidney diseases.

The findings may be especially important for parts of the world with higher air pollution where fine particulate matter levels are five to 10 times higher than in the US, the study said.

It’s known that breathing in air pollution can have detrimental health effects beyond the lungs, but few studies have shown how it impacts the kidneys, which act as filters for the blood.

“As rates of chronic kidney disease rise worldwide, it is important to understand whether and how exposure to air pollution plays a role,” said study researcher Matthew F. Blum from the Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Kidney disease pollution
It’s known that breathing in air pollution can have detrimental health effects beyond the lungs, but few studies have shown how it impacts the kidneys, which act as filters for the blood. Pixabay

For the findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the research team examined information on 10,997 adults across four sites in the US who were followed from 1996-1998 through 2016.

The researchers estimated the monthly average levels of tiny particles of air pollution–called fine particulate matter–based on participants’ home addresses.

Fine particulate matter comes from a variety of sources including fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, and natural sources, they said.

Also Read- 4 in 10 American Adults are Obese: Survey

The team found that exposure to higher amounts of fine particulate matter was associated with a higher degree of albuminuria — a marker of kidney dysfunction — at the start of the study as well as a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease over time.

According to the researchers, future studies should examine whether efforts to improve air quality yield health benefits, including reducing rates of chronic kidney disease. (IANS)