Consuming excess protein can lead to clogged blood vessels

Recent research indicates that a diet rich in protein may increase the risk of arterial disease. Studies have shown that high protein consumption is associated with arterial hardening and mortality from cardiovascular disease. However, until now, the mechanism by which excessive protein consumption can clog blood vessels was not well understood.

A team of researchers led by the University of Pittsburgh published their findings in the scientific journal Nature Metabolism, shedding light on the harmful effects of a high-protein diet on heart and blood vessels. Protein is an essential nutrient for humans, but current recommendations suggest that less than 20 percent of total energy should come from protein for individuals under the age of 65.

In Finland, approximately 80 percent of the population meets the recommended protein intake, while the remaining 20 percent exceed it. Men tend to consume more protein than women, and protein-rich diets can aid in muscle growth and weight management by increasing satiety. However, blindly increasing protein intake may have negative consequences for arterial health, according to the researchers.

Experiments conducted on mice, cell cultures, and overweight human participants revealed that excessive protein consumption can activate immune cells associated with arterial disease. Specifically, the amino acid leucine, found in animal-based foods like red meat, eggs, and milk, plays a crucial role in this process.

Research participants who consumed high-protein meals experienced increased levels of leucine in their bloodstream, leading to potential harmful effects on immune cells responsible for clearing cellular waste. This accumulation of waste under the artery wall lining can lead to the formation of plaque, containing inflammatory cells and cholesterol.

Further studies are needed to fully understand the implications of high protein consumption on cardiovascular health. Researchers caution against excessive animal protein intake, as it has been linked to cardiovascular disease mortality, increased diabetes risk, and kidney strain. With heart diseases caused by arteriosclerosis being the leading cause of death in Finland, it is essential to balance protein intake for optimal health benefits while minimizing negative effects.

By Samantha Robertson

As a seasoned content writer at, my passion for storytelling and creativity shines through in every article I craft. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, I thrive on translating complex topics into engaging reads that resonate with our diverse audience. My goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire readers through thought-provoking content that leaves a lasting impact. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the world of news together.

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