Women above 50 who consume a lot of protein stand a high risk of heart failure, researchers say.

The risk becomes even more increased when the source of the protein is meat.

Although the study did not prove exactly how a high protein diet affects the health of the heart, postmenopausal women with the most protein in their diet had a 60 percent increased risk of heart failure, as opposed to those who ate little protein, the study found.

Mohomad Firas Barbour, an internist at Brown University’s Alpert medical school and memorial hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket, said that most of the risks appear to come from animal protein.

In comparison, the women who got most of their protein from vegetable sources appeared to have a nearly 20 percent reduced risk of heart failure, Barbour said.

“The higher total dietary protein intake, that will increase the risk of heart failure, but higher vegetable protein intake appeared to be protective against heart failure,” he added.

The findings have been presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New Orleans, U.S.



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