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Can Excess Protein Cause Heart Problems For Men?

A new Finnish study suggests that famous diets like the Ketogenic and Atkins diet may cause harmful issues and heighten the risk of heart complications among men.

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Can Excess Protein Cause Heart Problems For Men?

As popular and widespread as diets based on high-protein intake are nowadays, a new Finnish study says that diets like the Ketogenic and Atkins diets could potentially cause several heart-related issues in middle-aged men.

The Study

The new study collected and examined information from around 2400 men between the ages of 40 and 60 who recorded their eating habits over four days and told not to partake in any specific diet. After being separated into four groups based on the amount of protein they had consumed from lowest to highest, each group was carefully tracked and observed for 22 years in which about 300 or so men were diagnosed with heart failure and complications. Although the Ketogenic and Atkins diets are not exactly high-protein ones, those that partake in them often end up consuming much more protein than they should. 

Researchers then discovered that men who had consumed the most protein from all four groups had a higher risk of developing heart complications and failure, with a more intimidating 33% than those that had consumed the lower amount of protein. 

More On The Topic

Jyrki Virtanen, the senior author of the study, made a statement saying: "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." Those behind the study did say that much more research was needed to confirm and cement the findings, especially among more diverse populations. 

Speaking to LiveScience, Dr. Andrew Freeman said: "The overall sum of the data that's out there would suggest that the high-protein diet that's become a fad as of late is not necessarily the most ideal diet," and that "Americans consume way too much protein," in general and that excess amounts of protein consumption should be avoided.


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