4

votes

High Protein Diets promote Aging?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Dave,

I have read recently that high protein consumption promotes more rapid cell division, while a lower protein diet causes the body to turn towards repairing, restoring and protecting its existing cells. More rapid cell division would wear down telemeres more rapidly and, therefore, promote aging.

Your Paleo Diet seems to emphasize higher protein consumption and this seems to be contrary to the research regarding the benefits of lower protein diets.

Any thoughts?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 26, 2013
at 01:19 PM

Protein that the body doesn't use for repair/growth is then used in gluconeogenesis. So the only way lowering protein amount would extend life through the idea of less cell division and telemeres is through a calorie restriction starvation diet, which has been shown to help people live long miserable lives.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 26, 2013
at 01:16 PM

You do understand that cellular repair requires protein.

1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

(529)

on August 26, 2013
at 07:35 AM

What of high-protein? Or, is that not a variable?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 25, 2013
at 11:02 AM

The problem is how to define "moderate" protein. Common protein recommendations range from 1.5g per bodyweight kg to 3+g.

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4 Answers

2
38717a6910551e2749cdae2d8c16570c

on August 24, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Both answers have some truth, from what I've gathered most of the paleo community is advocating consuming fat for your energy source (specifically with an emphasis on stable saturated fats as opposed to their more unstable unsaturated counterparts) since fat is a more effecient energy system (intake in grams is less for the same amount of energy, less taxing on the body). Consumption of protein should be kept at maintenance levels. E.g a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet.

This is specifically aging related though, protein and carb intakes are usually higher in athletes, heavy laborers etc, as more repair and rebuild is needed.

Thoughts?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on August 25, 2013
at 11:02 AM

The problem is how to define "moderate" protein. Common protein recommendations range from 1.5g per bodyweight kg to 3+g.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 26, 2013
at 07:15 AM

This is where the stereotypes about a paleo diet diverge from reality for the most part. Paleo tends to error on the side of being a higher fat rather than high protein diet. From what I've read your concerns are correct, which is probably why we have pretty strong instincts that monitor our protein consumption. All diets/cuisines paleo or otherwise, if people eat protein to satiety will be roughly 20-30% protein. Some people who are very low carb or body builders will go higher on protein to build extra muscle or help with gluconeogenesis, but they do run the risk of aging faster. High protein can mean high performance, but can also mean paying a price later.

Where paleo stands out in my mind is that the sources of protein are primarily pastured animals, fish, and eggs. It isn't more protein (you can ignore the image in your head of a guy eating a steak the size of his head with his bare hands), it is primarily the consumption higher quality protein. Relying on plant proteins (as suggested by the plant based diet movement) means a that there is likely a higher consumption of toxins unless those foods are processed very carefully, along with running the risk of certain amino acid deficiencies from consuming primarily incomplete proteins.

I think the primary reason we have the stereotype of paleo as being a high protein diet is that fat has been so vilified no one can say, "Hey have you tried that high fat paleo diet?" and expect people to jump on board. Most people if they choose to go the low carb paleo route (but paleo isn't necessarily low carb) will end up with fat as their primary macronutrient. And if they adopt a higher carbohydrate version of paleo with lots of starchy tubers and fruit, then their carbohydrate consumption will be higher. There is no long term version of paleo where protein is the dominant macronutrient as far as I know.

1
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 24, 2013
at 02:12 PM

Actually a higher carbohydrate stimulates cell division through the increased insulin response, whereas a high fat diet does not.

1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

(529)

on August 26, 2013
at 07:35 AM

What of high-protein? Or, is that not a variable?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 26, 2013
at 01:19 PM

Protein that the body doesn't use for repair/growth is then used in gluconeogenesis. So the only way lowering protein amount would extend life through the idea of less cell division and telemeres is through a calorie restriction starvation diet, which has been shown to help people live long miserable lives.

0
52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

on August 25, 2013
at 02:36 AM

I've read that somewhere also... I think it was a bit different actually... the article I read targeted red meat specifically.

Paleo is generally a vegetable-based diet that is totally customization. What is advocates is eating higher quality of meats and oils, which may come off a bit as carnivorous to others some times. Many people also get this misconception I think... (This is all my opinion)

Many people DON'T eat a lot of meat, such as me.

On paleo, you don't have to eat a lot of protein. As long as you're excluding grains, vegetables oils, legumes, certain seeds (I think) and other processed foods... then you're most likely paleo.

If this bothers you, just take the protein easy. Get your energy from a little bit of meat, lots of vegetables, and eat good fats like avocados, olive oils, animal fats, and a few nuts.

and honestly, even if this is true, it can't be that significant. We've all known plenty of people, especially family members that have eaten a high protein diet there whole lives, and have lived till 80 or 90. I think that's great......

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