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Risk Of Cancer Death Among Older Adults Is About The Same For Protein-Eaters And Smokers

March 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that tracked the dietary patterns of more than 6,000 Americans over 50 for 20 years found that eating an animal-protein-rich diet during middle age puts people at four times the risk of dying or cancer than eating a low-protein diet. That puts protein eating in the same risk category as smoking, the researchers said. Moreover, middle-aged people who eat a lot of animal protein – including meat, milk and cheese – are also more likely in general to die an early death.  Protein eaters were 74 percent more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their  low protein counterparts. They were also several times more likely to die of diabetes, the study found. The researchers concluded that what's good for a person earlier in life may be damaging at a later stage.
Morgan E. Levine et al., "Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population. ", Cell Metabolism, March 06, 2014, © Elsevier Inc.
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