(CNN)Women older than 50 who eat high-protein diets could have a greater risk of heart failure, especially if a lot of their protein comes from meat, according to a new study presented at the annual scientific conference of the American Heart Association.
Researchers found that postmenopausal women who follow a high-protein diet had a significantly higher rate of heart failure than those who ate less protein daily or ate more vegetable protein.
This could be attributed to the molecular mechanisms of animal protein, Barbour said, explaining that animal proteins can turn to toxic molecules, which can in turn affect the function of the heart’s left ventricle and lead to heart failure. They can also increase the body mass index, a known risk factor for heart failure.
“Our study should be interpreted with caution,” warned Barbour. “It appears that a high-protein diet may increase the risk of heart failure among postmenopausal women; however, more research will be needed.”
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Dr. Mingyang Song, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, described the findings as interesting. Song was the lead author of research published this year that found replacing animal protein with plant protein in a person’s diet
was associated with a decreased risk of death. He was not involved in the new research.
“People who eat high vegetable proteins may also have a healthier lifestyle,” Song said. This may imply that other factors are responsible for lowering the risk of heart failure for that group, he added.
“I think it’ll be good to replicate the results in other studies,” he said, suggesting that a more controlled group with a more controlled food intake could be required for that purpose.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/health/high-protein-meat-diet-women-heart-failure/index.html