Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Is Too Much Protein Bad For You?



Short answer

Unless you are engaged in a very active lifestyle, having an excess of proteins in your daily diet can be quite disastrous to your health.



Long answer

Taking in too many proteins can lead to serious health consequences. Among these include kidney malfunction, heart disease, triggering an attack by pathogenic bacteria and yeast (Candida albicans), increased levels of amino acids and ammonia in the body, etc. The recommended limit for the average adult male is 56 grams of protein per day, while the average adult female should consume 46 per day. Of course, this number may fluctuate depending on various factors such as weight and activity level. Another problem associated with high-protein diets (diets consisting of over 200 g per day) is that the body converts excess protein into calories. This, in turn, may lead to increased weight gain. It should be noted that a high protein diet in tandem with a heavy workout will increase weight gain in the sense of gaining more muscle. However, people who consume high amounts of protein without the necessary intense workout accompanying it may find themselves facing obesity.

An additional adverse effect of consuming a large quantity of protein is developing a nutrient deficiency. People on high protein diets often forget to consume enough of the other necessary vitamins and minerals, putting themselves at risk for a variety of health problems. One particular study was done noting a possible relation between excess protein intake and prostate cancer, but further research is needed for this to be conclusive. Add to the above information that Americans consume at least twice as much protein as the recommended daily limit and you may see this is cause for real concern. However, you should take heart. Most problems caused by high amounts of protein are in conjunction with getting the protein from sources that contain high levels of fat. 

Bottom line: If you consume a lot of proteins while being inactive and neglecting other nutrients, you may very well find yourself facing serious health problems. On the other hand, a high protein diet while maintaining a balanced intake of other nutrients and leading an active lifestyle most likely will not have any serious consequences.

Possible short-term side effects

  • dehydration

Possible long-term side effects

Big is to much protein bad for you.

Healthier alternatives

  • keeping a balanced diet / nutrient intake

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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-01-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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