When it Comes to Protein, You Might Get Too Much of a Good Thing

Written by yvonnethornton on January 3rd, 2013

Everything you consume in life should be done so in moderation. From the things you eat, to the things you buy, to the things you watch, you can most definitely get too much of a good thing in many cases. While protein is generally considered an important part of any healthy diet, studies show that it can be also be harmful when consumed in large quantities.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released statements showing that the female body needs approximately 46 grams of protein daily. Of course, this amount should be adjusted for a woman’s size and activity level, but this amount is the average. For a more specific number, they recommend that you subtract half of your body weight by 10. So, a 160-pound woman needs 70 grams of protein every day. On top of that, you should adjust the number based on the amount of calories you consume so that you are not only consuming protein in a low-calorie diet.

However, many women who are trying to eat healthy think they need to stock up on protein. Low carb diets in particular are often high in protein. In reality, the average American woman is already getting too much, and adding to that already high amount can result in serious bodily damage.

Studies show that too much protein in a woman’s diet can lead to kidney damage in people with already decreased kidney function. Though protein doesn’t have any proven negative effects on women with fully and normally functioning kidneys, it can accelerate damage in those who don’t yet know their kidneys are in danger. Older women are also at risk for kidney problems as a result of too much protein because kidney function naturally declines with age.

If you have a kidney problem, you should be extremely careful about consuming too much protein. Even if you don’t, consuming too much protein can have other negative effects since it hinders the absorption of other important vitamins and minerals in your diet. Protein is a healthy part of the female diet, but only in moderation.

 – Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.



2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Zipporah-Darvi Redding says:

    Dr. Thornton,

    This is wonderful information! I will definitely pay more attention to my protein intake. Thank you for your advice.

    Zipproah-Darvi Redding, A.S., RPhT, CPhT

  2. yvonnethornton says:

    You are very welcome. Have a wonderful day!! Sincerely, Dr. Thornton

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