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Do you really need all those supplements? They may actually shorten your life

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Posted May 1, 2019

People who are really into sports swear by amino acids and protein shakes. They believe that these supplements are extremely important if you want to be healthy and grow muscle. But is that really the way to go? Scientists from the University of Sydney say that you shouldn’t so fast to jump on this fitness bandwagon – it is not so much about quantity.

Scientists found that protein shakes do work, but taking too much protein actually reduces your lifespan. A good balance is very important. Image credit: Sandstein via Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)

It is incredible what some people would do for looks. Drinking various protein shakes, taking supplements, healing injuries and all just for looking a bit nicer? It is quite a strange human behavioural trait. For each their own, but do these protein supplements and amino acids actually work? Scientists say that the answer to that question is both yes and no.

Scientists revealed that a high protein diet, which is also low on carbohydrates, actually has a positive impact on one’s reproductive function. On the other hand, this kind of diet reduces lifespan and has detrimental effects for health in mid-late life. Scientists say that it is important not to overdo these things – the correct balance is more important than anything.

Researchers tested various branched-chain amino acids, including tryptophan, on mice models. Tryptophan lead to a sudden decrease in serotonin, which usually results in overeating. This was also observed on lab mice. Branched-chain amino acids contributed to obesity in mice, which eventually resulted in shorter lives.

Supplements in humans are unlikely to result in obesity, because people who are taking them are also working out vigorously. However, they could still mess with serotonin levels in the brain, which could have a negative impact on the mood as well as other harmful changes. Overall, scientists believe that everything should be more or less balanced – a diet that’s too rich in protein or specifically in amino acids is likely to result in a reduced lifespan.

In order to maximize the effects of amino acids, you should get protein from a bigger variety of sources. Don’t immediately turn to supplements – you can also find a lot of protein in food, which will also provide your body with vitamins and other beneficial substances. You can find amino acids are present in such protein-containing foods as red meat, dairy, chicken, fish and eggs. If you’re not into animal products, improve your diet with beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins. If you feel like you would benefit from tryptophan eat seeds and nuts, soy beans, cheese, chicken, turkey and eve crocodile if you know where to get some.

Protein will help you build muscle. However, you should always consider negative health effects as well. Do you really need those supplements? And for what? Just because manufacturers say that they are necessary for you, you should not fill your body with these excess substances. Instead improve your diet and you will live longer.

 

Source: University of Sydney

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