Side effects of too much Protein



When it comes to a healthy diet, health experts often emphasise one particular thing, protein. Protein is indispensable for the healthy development of an individual.

Protein constitutes the primary building block of the human body. Protein is present in various complex forms from muscles to tissues, hair to bone and organs to skin.

When it comes to fueling the energy by supplying oxygen throughout your body, the function of protein is crucial. Protein is also useful in weight loss, fat reduction and controlling appetite. Without protein, one cannot even perform day-to-day activities.

However, anything in excess is harmful. Likewise, our body cannot withstand too much protein. With more diets getting popular, people with high protein side effects are growing day by day. So, it is essential to know the risks associated with high protein intake.

How much protein one should consume?

Generally, one can consume 0.8g – 1g of protein for every 1kg of body weight in a day. This is the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).

However, the recommended dietary allowance varies from person to person based on other factors such as age, gender, level of physical activity, etc. This will also be high for pregnant, lactating women and those who perform heavy physical tasks.

The average value recommended by RDA will also be higher (3g per kilogram) for athletes and other sportspersons.

So, it is essential to calculate your own RDA of protein and stick to that level to avoid high protein side effects.

What are the side effects encountered on consuming too much protein?

These days, there is no shortage of diets. With the proliferation of online information-providing platforms, it becomes hard to differentiate authentic health advice from unproven ones.

Often your protein intake might exceed the permissible limit. This results in adverse health effects.

Some of the high protein side effects are listed below:

  1. Dehydration

Some studies conclude that heavy protein intake leads to dehydration. This is because in case of consuming too much protein, your body tends to excrete excess nitrogen along with water.

This makes your body dehydrated, but often, you wouldn’t feel thirsty. This is bad for health.

Some common symptoms include dry lips, dark-coloured urine and dizziness.

These conditions can be expelled by drinking more water and consuming water-intense fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber.

  1. Kidney damage

So far, there is no promising evidence that categorises kidney failure as one of the high protein side effects.

But the by-products of protein can indeed amplify the harm of already damaged kidneys. This is because protein secretes amino acids that contain excess nitrogen.

Damaged kidneys find it harder to get rid of excess nitrogen produced as a by-product. So, they have to work intensely, which may degrade their functions.

Hence, you need to be cautious of your daily protein intake levels.

  1. Risk of cancer

Although meat acts as a storehouse of protein, heavy consumption may lead to cancer. Studies have shown that protein from some sources such as red meat and processed meat has a high risk of cancer.

Too much red or processed meat intake may pave the way for Colorectal, Prostate and Breast cancer.

Conversely, protein from other sources such as egg whites, vegetables, etc., have fewer cancer-related risks.

Scientists believe that this might be because red or processed meat contains carcinogenic and fat compounds.

  1. Heart disease

Protein is found abundantly in dairy and meat products. But they also contain fat components. Consuming them heavily leads to the concentration of saturated fats and increases the cholesterol level.

This is detrimental to your cardiovascular health. Some studies even show high coronary risks in women upon consuming too much red meat and fatty dairy products.

  1. Weight gain

It is evident that high protein diets help in weight loss. This is because the consumption of protein fills the stomach and controls the craving for food.

This indirectly helps in less food intake, thus helping in weight loss. But this type of weight loss is temporary because your body stores excess protein in the form of fat.

This reverses the purpose of weight loss and eventually, you tend to gain weight. It clearly shows that too much protein is bad for weight loss, and you need to check the limits of your daily protein intake.

  1. Bad breath

Too much protein intake demands higher metabolism. Your body needs to break down consumed proteins into simpler compounds. One of the by-products that emerge while breaking down proteins is ammonia.

Ammonia has this effect where it creates a strong odour. Your body ejects ammonia through urination and exhalation.

Thus, bad breath becomes one of the high protein side effects, which you can prevent and control by maintaining the permissible consumption limits.

  1. Skin related issues

When you consume too much protein, you may notice some symptoms on your skin. This is because one form of a protein called KLK6 is associated with the risk of skin inflammation. This may worsen the Psoriasis condition and damages the skin.

How to remove excess protein from the body?

High levels of protein can also be found in blood and urine. This will not pose any severe health issues. Yet it is important to maintain your body with optimum protein level.

If you possess high protein in your blood due to high blood pressure, you can lose such protein by reducing the blood pressure and maintaining it at a normal level. Also, you can get rid of extra protein in urine by hydrating your body constantly.

However, it is always important get the advice of your medical practitioner about getting rid of excess protein from your body.

In conclusion

Although protein is the fundamental building block of all our bodily matters, maintaining it at optimum levels is also essential. One also needs to be conscious of choosing the right source of getting proteins.

Moreover, it is advisable to consult your physician before opting for any diet plans.

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