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High-protein diet may increase risk of cancer

High-protein diet may increase risk of cancer
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Think a diet high in protein is the road to good health? You may have to think again, according to a new study done for Cell Metabolism. Cancer could lurk around the corner. Valter Longo, the lead scientist, showed that while a diet high in protein may still be good for elderly subjects, it might be almost as bad as smoking for those in middle age, between 50 and 65. The Inquisitr reported on the data Sunday, March 16.

Longo suggested that a problem developed when people trying to lose weight went to a diet super-high in protein-rich foods, while pushing fats and carbs right out of the kitchen. No one had ever studied the effect this kind of eating could have, long-term. But now the results are in, and they aren’t pretty. “On a high-protein, high-fat diet you can lose weight, but in the long run you may be hurting yourself.” The risk of early death goes way up.

The main finding of the study is that high-protein foods lead to an increased production of a growth hormone called IGF-1, which stands for insulin-like growth factor. It promotes muscle-building, and a lean body, but a shorter life span, in both mice and in human subjects. Cancer becomes four times more common. The overall mortality rate increased a whopping 74%

More studies need to be done, and they will be. In the meantime, go for a little balance in your menu planning. It could just save your life.