Health

Protein supplement risk

AMIRA MATTAR

Males are overusing protein supplements by as much as 30 percent of the recommended dose according to a leading academic.

Health expert Anna Fletcher says a male bodies only fully develop in their twenties and heavy use of weights and protein can lead to stunted growth and back problems.

“Large consumptions of protein causes bone density in the long run and this can lead to Osteoporosis,” Ms Fletcher says.

A 2004 study by the National Health and Medical Research Council showed that high protein intakes caused several chronic illnesses including cancer, renal disease and coronary artery disease.

Pharmacist Sunila Rajan warned that protein abuse is associated with obesity.

“It also makes [protein supplement users] susceptible to health problems such as nausea, vision trouble, fatigue and liver anomalies,” Ms Rajan said.

Kevin Bui, 19, is a regular protein user.

“After a protein shake, I often feel exhausted and am unable to concentrate in tutorials,” Mr Bui said.

He said he felt pressured by stereotypes of the ideal male body, portrayed in TV shows.

“It’s because of celebrities that guys want to be big,” he said.

“Having a good body has become part of being socially accepted and it has given me confidence.”

According to a study by Dr Ray Sahelian, creatine – a main ingredient in protein supplements – works as a dehydrating agent, putting strain on the kidney and liver.

Consumers who abused supplements had levels of sodium, magnesium, vitamin A and iron that exceeded the acceptable norms.

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