Consuming over 22% of dietary calories from protein can lead to increased activation of immune cells that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation and drive the disease risk, new study showed.

Source: Eating too much protein is bad for your arteries, and this amino acid is to blame

Certainly! Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have made a significant discovery regarding the impact of excessive dietary protein on our health. Let’s delve into the details:

  • Excessive Protein Intake and Atherosclerosis:
    • Consuming more than 22% of daily calories from protein can raise the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where arteries thicken and stiffen due to plaque buildup, which restricts blood flow.
    • While protein is essential for overall health, it’s crucial to be mindful of the amount consumed daily.
    • Leucine, an amino acid found in protein, plays a role in the development and worsening of atherosclerosis.
    • Specifically, higher dietary protein intake (more than 25 grams of protein per meal or 22% of daily energy requirements) leads to elevated leucine levels. These increased leucine levels activate a specific pathway in immune cells associated with atherosclerosis.
    • The study involved human trials, experiments with mice, and cell studies in Petri dishes.
    • In mice, diets with graded protein contents (mimicking average and high protein intake) showed similar results to the human studies. Mice receiving more than 25 grams of protein per meal were more likely to promote atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
    • The researchers emphasize that high protein intake can contribute to atherogenesis and recommend approaching high protein diets cautiously. Dietary guidelines should be revised accordingly12.

Remember, moderation and a balanced diet are key to maintaining overall health and protecting our arteries! 🌱🧡

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