This week’s articles are specifically relevant to those gym-junkies and wannabe pro athletes who have been downing extra protein shakes and eating heaps of meat in the false belief that this was necessary to help them beef up or stay fit and strong. Even people interested in weight-loss have been turning to high-protein diets in the hope that this would be the panacea to help them attain their perfect bodies.
Of course, there is no panacea, but more alarmingly, there are also significant risks associated with many neuro-degenerative diseases (those that lead to the destruction of the brain’s capacity to operate) compared with the potential short-term gains that eating too much protein brings.
Attached to this post are links to two related studies that investigate the relationships between consuming too much protein and the body’s inability to deal with extra protein accurately when overloaded. Our body’s ability to process proteins, known as protein synthesis, involves complex steps that basically decode the information in the amino acids (the twenty basic building blocks that make up proteins) to ‘fold’ the protein.
If the synthesis results in a correctly folded protein, our body’s cells are able to utilise the result to repair or grow more cells. If the protein ‘misfolds’ then the result becomes waste known as amyloid deposits. As these deposits build up in the body over time, they are understood to be significant contributing factors leading to Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The analogy related to typing is apt: the faster you type, the more mistakes you will make, just as the faster your body tries to process protein – because the more protein you consume, the faster the process runs – the more mistakes there will be, resulting in more toxic waste protein building up in your body’s cells. So, the next time you finish a work-out or want to up your protein consumption to get some shallow gains for your appearance, consider the potential long-term negative effects on your brain.
Regulation of the Elongation Phase of Protein Synthesis Enhances Translation Accuracy and Modulates Lifespan
Protein Misfolding and Degenerative Diseases