PROTEIN CONTROVERSIES

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HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE & RENAL FAILURE

There is still some controversy surrounding the question of whether chronic protein intake exceeding 1.5g/kg body weight is sufficient to impose strain on the kidney. Martin et al (2005) in their review of the literature write: "Observational data from epidemiological studies provide evidence that dietary protein intake may be related to the progression of renal disease [52]. In the Nurses' Health Study, protein intake, assessed with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, was compared to the change in estimated GFR over an 11-year span in individuals with pre-existing renal disease [53]. Regression analysis showed an association between increased consumption of animal protein and a decline in renal function suggesting that high total protein intake may accelerate renal disease leading to a progressive loss of renal capacity. However, no association between protein intake and change in GFR was found in a different cohort of 1,135 women with normalrenal function (Figure ​(Figure1.).1.). The latter finding led the authors to conclude that there were no adverse effects of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy women with normal renal status. "READ MORE from the article published by Martin et al. in 2005 in the journal: Nutrition Metabolism (London).

SHOULD ATHLETES EAT MORE PROTEIN?

There is without a doubt need for more protein when following a rigorous and intense training schedule. The question really is how much more? Denise Web RD, PhD addresses this question in a 2014 article published for magazine Today's Dietitian. She writes: "While it’s generally accepted that athletes need more protein than sedentary people, recommendations vary significantly depending on the type of athlete, current body weight, total energy intake, whether weight loss or weight gain is the goal, exercise intensity and duration, training status, the quality of the dietary protein, and the individual’s age (2). The general rule of thumb is 1.2 to 1.4 g/kg of body weight for endurance athletes and 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg of body weight for strength and power athletes, says Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, a nutrition consultant and writer and the co-owner of Mohr Results, a weight-loss company in Louisville, Kentucky. The greater the number of hours in training and the higher the intensity, the more protein is required (2 ). Other research has recommended as much as 2 g/kg of body weight to prevent muscle loss in athletes who have reduced their energy intake (3,4). READ MORE.

How Much Protein Do we Need?
KAREN ANSEL, MS, RDN, CDN

Lately it seems like everyone’s trying to load up on protein — and for good reason! Just about everything in the body needs protein. It helps build and repair muscles and other body tissues. It also helps you feel full after eating a meal. What’s not to love?

Still, I was pretty shocked when I came across some recent statistics about how much protein we’re actually eating. Rather than being protein deficient, many of us are practically swimming in it. The average woman consumes somewhere between 70 and 77 grams a day, while a typical guy inhales 102 to 111 grams. READ MORE

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IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A HIGH PROTEIN DIET? 

 Diane Welland, MS, RD approaches the question of high protein intakes for weight loss cautiously as it is a complex issue. She writes: "Several studies comparing high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets with high-carbohydrate, low-protein diets found high-protein diets to be just as effective and sometimes even more effective than their high-carbohydrate counterparts when it comes to weight loss. The latest study, published in The Journal of Nutrition in March 2009, looked at how a moderately high-protein meal plan measured up to the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid diet over a 12-month period. Although weight loss results were similar in both groups, the high-protein subjects lost more body fat and had better blood lipid profiles than the high-carbohydrate dieters, according to the journal article.

This study is just one of many in a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that the right high-protein diet may be a tool worth using in the fight against obesity. READ MORE 

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