Weight gain, early death noted in study of older adults
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Steven Reinberg
FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) - A high-protein diet may backfire for people at risk for - increasing the likelihood of and early death, a new study suggests.
Replacing carbohydrates and fats with is touted as a quick way to . But this long-term Spanish study of older adults found these high-protein diets - think and, for example - may be harmful.
When protein replaced carbohydrates, for instance, the eating plan was linked to a 90 percent greater risk of gaining more than 10 percent of . It was also linked to a 59 percent higher risk of death from any cause, the researchers found.
When protein replaced fat, risk of death rose 66 percent, the researchers said.
"These results do not support the generalized use of high-protein diets as a good strategy for, " said lead researcher Monica Bullo, of Pere Virgili Health Research Institute in Reus.
"Long-term efficacy and safety of these diets deserve more attention, " she said.
However, the study only found an association between dietary protein, weight gain and death rates, not a cause-and-effect link.
Bullo isn't sure why high-protein diets may promote weight gain. But their connection to early death is a little clearer, she said, noting that intake is related to, changes in sugar and insulin metabolism, and changes in blood fat.
The researchers analyzed data from a government-funded trial of more than 7, 000 men and women. Participants, all aged 55 and over without, filled out food questionnaires that assessed protein consumption for roughly five years. All had either type 2 diabetes or three or more of these risk factors:, , poor, or, or a family history of premature .
The study results were scheduled for presentation Friday at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic. Research presented at meetings is usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.