Is protein really that hard to digest
Too Much Protein Is Bad For The Kidneys - Is This Really Right?
One look at the supermarket shelves is enough: There is almost no edible product category in which an additional amount of protein is not advertised. Whether in bread, yoghurt, spreads or particularly filling chocolate bars - protein has long ceased to be an issue that is limited to fitness studios. Conscious nutrition is considered hip, and social media are literally overflowing with it. Many expect protein, as protein is colloquially, a longer-lasting feeling of satiety, rapid fat burning and rapid muscle building. But is a protein-rich diet really harmless or are possible consequential dangers, especially with regard to the kidneys, deliberately concealed?
What is protein and how does it work?
Proteins are the building blocks of life - without them, nothing works in the body. Cells and tissues (muscles, organs such as heart and brain, blood), but also antibodies as well as numerous enzymes and hormones (including insulin) are based on them.
From a chemical point of view, proteins are made up of amino acids. Several hundred amino acids exist, but only 20 amino acids are relevant for the human body. Of these 20 amino acids, ten are considered essential, which means that the body either cannot produce them at all (eight amino acids) or only in very small quantities (two amino acids). They must be ingested with food.
When it comes to food, a distinction can be made between animal and vegetable protein. In contrast to vegetable protein, animal protein is usually more efficient in building up the body's own proteins. However, foods of plant origin are considered healthier, as the other nutrients in animal products, such as fats, tend to have a harmful effect on the body.
What are the dangers of protein?
Protein malnutrition is more serious in healthy people compared to increased protein intake. Especially with adolescents, because protein is partly responsible for growth and physical development. Protein malnutrition can lead to physical underdevelopment in the first step and to mental underdevelopment in further steps. For this reason, a daily amount of 0.9 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended for adolescents, especially in view of their increased needs, and for adults a daily amount of 0.8 grams.
As a rule, a high-protein diet is considered safe for people. Still, it can have consequences. If more protein is consumed than needed, the excess can be stored as body fat and lead to undesirable weight gain. However, this also applies to carbohydrates. In this context, overweight people can react more poorly to insulin and become more susceptible to diabetes.
Overweight people, on the other hand, tend to have a weak liver, along with people who consume more alcohol. A weak liver can only fulfill its tasks to a limited extent, so that it is no longer able to break down ammonia sufficiently, for example. A long-term excess of ammonia contributes among other things. contribute to memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness.
Ammonia is converted to urea in the liver and excreted in the urine via the kidneys. However, if the kidneys cannot process the extra urea, they can be damaged.
So far, studies have not been able to prove that increased protein intake leads to kidney damage in healthy people. However, they also emphasize at the same time that kidney damage can be ruled out with a permanent protein intake of two or more grams per kilogram of body weight.
How should one generally deal with protein?
Since proteins represent one of the three main food groups alongside carbohydrates and fats, a balanced diet should be ensured. The overconsumption of one of these food groups should not be countered with a reduction elsewhere. So you shouldn't save on carbohydrates and replace them with proteins or even fats.
Even if a high-protein diet does no harm in healthy people, one should still look at how to meet one's protein needs. The sugary chocolate bar should be the exception.
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