The Dangers of Protein Supplements

Written by drew woods
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Many people use protein supplements in efforts to lose fat, add muscle mass, or get an energy boost. And the use of protein supplements has a lengthy history. Although these supplements can be effective, some studies show that too much protein in the diet from supplements can be hazardous to your health in the long-term.

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History

In the late 1930s, Eugene Schiff discovered a technique that effectively processed the whey from milk for human consumption. He created Schiff Bio-Foods, a company that processed and packaged the first protein supplements. World War II caused an increase in demand for non-perishable foods which helped popularise protein supplements such as powdered milk, eggs and soy protein. But in 1977, the Food and Drug Administration warned that the use of protein supplements could be dangerous. It cited 16 deaths in women who had been taking liquid protein supplements to lose weight.

Misconceptions

Many weightlifters and body builders assume that increasing protein through supplements will help them gain muscle faster. Consuming extra protein doesn't actually do much toward increasing muscle mass and strength. Furthermore, consuming too much protein through supplements can do harm to the body.

Effects

When taking protein supplements, pay attention to the amount of protein you are consuming. Taking in too much protein can cause a build-up of toxic ketones in the body. As a result, the kidneys are pushed harder to flush toxins from your body. As your kidneys work to eliminate the ketones, your body loses water, which can put you at risk for dehydration. Too much protein can also contribute to bone loss, and there may be a link between excessive protein intake and cancer.

Considerations

Young men and women use protein supplements hoping they can find a quick fix to help change their bodies. Supplement providers target this group by pitching the idea that a supplement will help the teen lose or gain weight quickly. But not all protein supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With so many products flooding the market, the FDA does not have the time or staff to regulate them all.

Prevention

Monitor the amount of protein that you put into your body. According to the recommended daily allowance (RDA), you should consume 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight. Also, protein should only make up about 15 per cent of the total amount of calories you take in daily. You should also thoroughly research any protein supplement before using it.

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