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Study: High-protein diet in middle age could increase likelihood of cancer


LOS ANGELES, Calif. ( -- A decades-long study by researchers at the University of Southern California suggests middle aged people who eat a diet rich in animal proteins are four times more likely to die of cancer than those who consume a lower protein diet. According to researchers, that mortality risk factor is comparable to smoking.

The study followed a sample of adults for almost 20 years. Researchers claim excessive consumption of proteins such as milk, meat, and cheese made middle aged participants 74-percent more likely to die of any cause than those who maintained a low-protein diet.

In the study, a "high-protein" diet was described as consuming at least 20-percent of calories from protein.

Researchers claim plant-based proteins did not appear to have the same impacts on mortality risk.

According to a report by USC, researchers noted that while a high-protein diet could be harmful in middle age, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet at older ages to prevent frailty.

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