Nov 2, 2017 in Medicine


Protein stocks in the human body are virtually absent. New proteins can be synthesized only from amino acids originating from food and decaying proteins of organism tissues. Proteins cannot be formed from substances that are included in the composition of fats and carbohydrates. Lack of protein in the diet causes growth and development retardation in children. In adults, it causes the profound changes in the liver, disruption of the endocrine glands, hormonal changes, deterioration of nutrient absorption, problems with the heart muscle, undermining of the work efficiency, and causing the impairment of memory. Protein plays the important part in the human body because it is involved almost in all processes. However, the excessive consumption of proteins by human organism could lead to side effects and negative implications such as problems with kidney, heart, liver, and causing some types of cancer.

Background Information

Many men tend to think that in order to build muscles it is necessary to increase the consumption of protein. There is no doubt that for weight lifters or other athletes the additional number of protein may be necessary to increase their power in physical activity. However, it does not mean that with additional power athletes do not suffer from health problems. In fact, the health diet may not be full without protein. Nevertheless, it should be consumed in a certain amount in order to build blocks for blood, muscles, immunes system, and others. Protein serves as a fuel for human body. Without this fuel the human body cannot work properly. There is a particular amount of protein that people should consume during the day. “It is recommended to get between 10 and 35 percent of our daily caloric intake from protein, which is equivalent of 50 to 175 grams per day” (Frazier, 2012, p. 2).

Problems with Heart

Eating too much protein could lead to some problems with heart health. Human heart is working constantly without any holidays. Throughout its life, it circulates through vessels many liters of blood and provides essential nutrients and oxygen to trillions of cells. The overconsumption of protein can disrupt this process and increase the number of homocysteine in blood cells. Very often, people take the protein from red meat and dairy products. Those products cause the appearance of homocysteine. In normal conditions, it is removed from human body with no harmful effect on it. If the proteins enter the body in an excessive amount, homocysteine does not have time to leave the body and accumulates in it. Once it reaches a critical limit, human heart and blood vessels begin to fail. Homocysteine has a devastating effect on the arteries. It affects the formation of very small and large clots. Small ones damage the arteries and the large ones cause most heart attacks and strokes.

The main adverse effect of homocysteine is that it affects the vascular wall of the arteries. It causes the formation of "scratches" on the inner lining of blood vessels. In self-defense, the body tries to patch up the damaged area by first blood clots. Its excessive accumulation leads to compaction and clogging of blood vessels. If it affects the coronary arteries of the heart, it will lead to the narrowing of blood vessels. This results in circulatory failure, which affects cardiac muscle. This can lead to myocardial infarction. Besides, homocysteine is the more likely cause of stroke than smoking, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

The high protein diet has a negative impact on the heart health. However, it is not completely true for each case. It is very important to trace the source from which the human body takes the protein. If it comes from meat or dairy products, there is a high risk to have some problems with heart. However, when the main source of protein is vegetables, the result is opposite to the previous one. There is a difference between the animal and vegetable source of protein. “Animal proteins tend to have high levels of saturated fat, which may contribute to heart disease” (Frazier, 2012, p. 7). Zerastky Katherine, who is a special editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide in Mayo Clinic, is also convinced that the abundance of red meat and dairy products in protein diet can cause some problems with the health of human heart (Zeratsky, 2012 p. 4).  

Problems with Kidneys

 The high-protein diet can have the negative effect on kidneys. Kidneys are vital organs in the human body that filter harmful elements from the bloodstream. One of the main functions of kidneys is separation and filtration of the protein throughout the human body. The diet with a high level of protein very often promotes the use of food that contains not only protein, but that also contains fat. The extra fat could undermine the work of kidneys. It could make the kidneys overwork and at some point it can lead to damage. As a result, kidneys may lose their ability to filter essential nutrients from waste. Eventually, the human body will stop receiving the protein through the protein diet. Additionally, the consumption of fat food could lead to high cholesterol. “High cholesterol levels can also lead to overwork and eventual damage to the kidneys” (Rottkamp, 2011).  Actually, the high protein diet might not have the negative effect on healthy kidneys. However, people who have previously suffered from kidney problems may definitely face those problems again after protein diet.

High Protein Diet and Cancer

Some people use high protein diet in order to control their weight. However, during such type of diet, it is possible to develop some diseases in the human organism. There is a primary link between high protein intake and cancer. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has impact on human body. It is a protein hormone than tends to increase in blood with the high consumption of protein. The abnormal amount of IGF-1 is potentially dangerous as it can increase cells that eventually can turn into cancerous. “High level of IGF-1 in the blood has been related to an increased risk for prostate cancer, premenopausal breast cancer and some kinds of colon cancer” (Nelson, 3). The contribution of high protein diet to the development of cancer can also occur due to the restriction of carbohydrates, which provide the protection against cancer.

Other Side Effects

The high protein diet could be potentially dangerous for people who have some problems with their health. People who have diabetes should escape from this type of diet. During this type of diet people lose mainly water from their body rather than fat. It is also possible for people to lose calcium while taking too much protein. In the case of the lack of calcium, a human body takes the calcium from the bones, which leads to the problems with their structure. “The acids released by the body as it digests protein are absorbed with the help of calcium” (Frazier, 2012, p. 6). Many experts state that the high protein diet may contribute to such a disease as gout because animal food contains purines that increase the level of uric acid. The high level of uric acid may lead to gout. The high protein diet also can have a negative effect on human liver. The constant consumption of protein can create an extra work for liver. It could lead to the result when the liver will not be chronically able to process the protein that people eat.    


In conclusion, it is necessary to say that everything should be in moderation. It works and is acceptable in many spheres of human activity. People who lead an active lifestyle and stick to a high protein diet should listen to this. There is no doubt that a diet with high protein intake is one of the most effective measures in creating a well-developed musculature and lean body at the same time. However, the protein diet has many disadvantages and negative health results for human body. The high protein diet is not a balanced nutrition program. There is produced ammonia under the cleavage of the protein at amino acid components. It has a toxic effect on the central nervous system. During the high protein diet, the human body does not get the vitamins and essential dietary fiber for intestinal motility. There is a negative effect of high protein diet on the liver and kidneys, which can lead to various diseases. With a regular use of a large number of products of animal origin, people may experience the increased levels of cholesterol in the blood, which has a detrimental effect on the heart and blood vessels.

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