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Common Ailments ~ Protein Imbalance

MYOGLOBIN

Too Much Protein

Protein cannot be stored in the body and the excess is eliminated in urine and feces. When people start consuming too much protein (over 2.0 g/kg/d), the extra protein can become a stressful stimulus for the kidney. This is even more of a concern as we get older and our organs are less efficient and effective. See ‘Amyloidosis’.

Very high levels of dietary protein have also been correlated with increased urinary calcium excretion. The loss of calcium through urine could potentially be harmful for bone turnover, with the added risk of osteoporosis.

In health food stores and drug stores, there are many protein supplements. However amino acid supplements are not digested and absorbed in the body as readily as amino acids coming from food sources. Moreover, amino acid supplements tend to cause an imbalance of the amino acids already present in the body. Neurotransmitters will not act properly if the fine balance among all of the various types of amino acids is disturbed by too much supplementation. See ‘Eosinophillia-Myalgia’.

One of the most popular diets these  days is low-carb, high protein like those promoted by “The Atkins Diet Revolution,” “Enter The Zone,” and “Sugar Busters,” just to name a few. While we don’t know which, if any, recommendation is right, recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine report that participants who successfully followed low-carb plans for six months lost more weight than those who ate low-fat. However almost half the participants dropped out of their programs and, after a year, the Atkin’s followers regained up to a third of the pounds they lost.

High-protein diets used as a means of losing weight could be damaging to the kidneys, according to a warning from the American Kidney Fund (AKF). The diets place such a significant strain on the kidneys that even conditioned athletes can become dehydrated, the American Kidney Foundation said, citing researchers at the University of Connecticut.

“We have long suspected that high-protein weight loss diets could have a negative impact on the kidneys, and now we have research to support our suspicions. Dehydration forces the kidneys to work harder to clean toxins from the blood. Kidneys not only filter the blood, but they also help regulate blood pressure and the number of red blood cells. Increased protein intake leads to a build-up of nitrogen in the blood. The nitrogen ends up at the kidney in the form of urea, where it needs to be
cleaned from the blood and got rid of in the urine; the resulting increase in urination can cause dehydration, further straining the kidneys.

Paul W. Crawford – American Kidney Foundation Chairman of Medical affairs

Too Little Protein

The name for protein deficiency disease is kwashiorkor. Protein deficiency is a wasting disease that in its severe state leads to death. It is curable, of course, with consumption of complete protein foods or supplements. Marasmus, another protein deficiency disease associated with calorie or food deficiency, comes from a starvation diet and results in complete loss of energy and tissue wasting. Also called “protein-calorie malnutrition” (PCM), it is the world’s most widespread and correctable malnutrition problem, killing millions yearly.

Vegetarian And Vegan Diets

There are two types of vegetarians; lacto-ovo vegetarians and strict vegetarians or “vegans”. Lacto vegetarians eat animal protein of high biological value, eggs and dairy products. If vegans eat a variety of plant foods — cereals, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes — they’ll be fine. As the average protein level in pulses is 27 percent of calories; in nuts and seeds 13 percent; and in grains 12 percent, it is easy to see that plant foods can supply the recommended amount of protein as long as the energy requirements are met. They don’t have to eat all these food items at a given meal; however, they should consume most or all of them during the course of the day to insure a well balanced protein diet of high biological value.  Furthermore, dietary studies show clearly that diets based solely on plant sources of protein can be quite adequate and supply the recommended amounts of all essential amino acids for adults, even when a single plant food, such as rice, is virtually the sole source of protein.

Protein Problems – Liver

Liver disease certainly poses a problem as far as how protein and amino acids are handled in the body. The liver is the main organ for breaking down amino acids, so when it is impaired, amino acids levels can build up and become toxic.

Protein Problems – Alergies

Proteins are the most reactive molecules in food allergic disease. Staple foods such as milk, eggs, wheat, corn, soy and meat contain proteins that frequently cause immune responses and are the basic problem in delayed patterns of food allergy.

Prominent allergist-immunologists have made conspicuous efforts to elucidate the delayed

PROTEIN DISORDERS

Incoming food protein/antigens tend to form immune complexes, and can injure target organs by triggering inflammatory responses in a variety of ways.

Amyloidosis

The abnormal accumulation of proteins in internal organs.

AGE – more common in elderly people

GENDER – twice as common in males

GENETICS – in some cases the condition is inherited

Symptoms depend upon which organs and tissues are affected. The organ usually becomes enlarged and unable to function properly. This can result in: Chronic kidney failure, heart failure, liver failure or nerve damage.

Eosinophilia-Myalgia

A rare, multi-systemic, chronic, autoimmune disease caused by ingestion of impure L-tryptophan, an amino acid dietary supplement

Characterized by fever, skin rash, muscle and joint pains and edema of the legs

The first mention of the word protein, which means of first rank, were from a letter sent by Jöns Jacob Berzelius to Gerhardus Johannes Mulder on 10. July 1838, where he wrote:

“I propose to you the name ‘protein’ for the organic oxide of fibrin and albumin, which I have derived from [the Greek word] πρωτειοξ, because it appears to be the primitive or principle substance of animal nutrition.”

(Jns Jakob Berzelius )

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