Protein Consumption, Breast Cancer and Heart Disease

For years we have heard about the presumed dangers of eating too much protein: those who are not vegetarians eat far too much protein and this is the cause of every modern ailment from cancer to heart disease, osteoporosis and so on. However, evidence supporting this view was always scant, and many of the studies quoted in support of these theories were deeply flawed.

A new large-population study that followed more than 88,000 women over a period of 18 years could find no association between intake of animal protein and risk of breast cancer (“Meat, fish and egg intake and risk of breast cancer” Int J Cancer 2003; 104(2): 221-7).

Another large study looked for a link between animal protein and heart disease and actually found that higher consumption of protein led to decreases in risk for certain types of heart disease. This led researchers to conclude that: “replacing carbohydrates with protein may be associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease” (Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70(2):221-7 and Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(3): 848-51 “Dietary protein and risk of ischemic heart disease in women”). It seems that the more we learn about diet, the more we find that it is sugar and starches that are the real problem.

Comments are closed.