- High protein diet may slightly increase the risk of developing heart failure in middle-aged men
- Heart failure reduces the life expectancy of a person
- Including the right choice of protein sources in the diet may lower the risk of heart failure
Eating high protein diet may slightly increase the risk of developing heart failure in middle-aged men, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in Circulation: Heart Failure
"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," said Jyrki Virtanen, Ph.D., study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.
‘Consuming high protein diet may slightly increase the risk of developing heart failure in middle-aged men which may reduce the life expectancy. Therefore, eating a healthy diet with the right choice of protein sources may lower the risk of heart failure.’
Foods that are rich in protein especially from animal sources were found to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and even death as suggested in previous studies.
According to the American Heart Association, one in five Americans who are 40 years and older will develop heart failure where the body is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to remain healthy. Heart failure reduces the life expectancy of a person. Therefore, healthy diet and proper lifestyle modifications play a significant role to lower the risk of heart failure.
Details of the Study
The study participants were 2,441 men with age 42 to 60. The research team conducted follow-up of the participants for average 22 years.
The research team divided the study participants into four groups based on their daily consumption of protein such as
People who had
Findings of the Study
- all sources of protein
- animal protein
- dairy protein
- plant protein
From the study follow-up, about 334 cases were diagnosed with heart failure. It was noted that 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. This shows that a higher intake of protein from most dietary sources was associated with slightly higher risk.
The research team observed that proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study.
The study found the risk of heart failure was:
- 33 percent higher for all sources of protein
- 43 percent higher for animal protein
- 49 percent higher for dairy protein
- 17 percent higher for plant protein
The study is one of the first to report on the association between dietary protein and heart failure risk. It requires more supporting studies on whether moderating protein intake may be beneficial in the prevention of heart failure, said Heli E.K. Virtanen, M.Sc., first author of the study, Ph.D. student and early career researcher at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.
"Long-term interventions comparing diets with differential protein compositions and emphasizing differential protein sources would be important to reveal possible effects of protein intake on risk factors of heart failure. More research is also needed in other study populations."
In order to reduce the risk, the American Heart Association suggests a dietary pattern that includes
Increased intake of
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- low-fat dairy products
- non-tropical vegetable oils
Limited intake of
- sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meats
- Heli E.K. Virtanen, Sari Voutilainen, Timo T. Koskinen, Jaakko Mursu, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jyrki K. Virtanen. Intake of Different Dietary Proteins and Risk of Heart Failure in Men. Circulation: Heart Failure (2018)DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.004531