Bad protein, good protein
The type of protein we eat matters more than we thought
The biggest study to date - with over 130,000 participants - of the effects of plant and animal protein on human health produced surprisingly clear results.
Animal protein was associated with higher mortality, especially from heart disease, whilst plant protein was associated with lower mortality. Animal foods that gave the highest risk of premature death were processed and unprocessed red meat and eggs. Plant protein offered protection against a range of diseases, promoting a longer, healthier life.
The paper didn’t elaborate on the exact mechanisms by which animal protein harms but previous studies discovered that it encourages the body’s production of IGF-1 (a dangerous growth factor), results in harmful acid and encourages toxic gut bacteria. All these effects are detrimental to health and they can also increase levels of inflammation and undermine blood vessel health, especially if it's already compromised (eg with arterial plaques).
Song et al., 2016. Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine. 176 (10) 1453-1463.