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Protein is an important nutrient that plays a role in the process of formation and repair of cells and body tissues. However, excess protein is also not good for he alth. So, protein intake needs to be adjusted to the recommended amount
Most of the bone, muscle and skin tissue, as well as various organs of the body, are made of amino acids, which are substances that are the product of protein metabolism. In addition to making up the body's tissues and cells, protein also plays a role in the production of enzymes and various hormones in the body, such as growth hormone. Therefore, the body requires a large amount of protein intake.
However, you are also not advised to consume protein in excess because it can be bad for he alth. Protein intake that is too high is thought to affect metabolic processes and make it harder for the kidneys to work.
Recommended Daily Protein Intake
If the intake of protein in the body is insufficient, a person can experience several signs and symptoms in the form of hair loss, susceptibility to infections, the body recovers longer when sick, to malnutrition due to lack of protein or kwarshiorkor.
Therefore, the amount of daily protein intake needs to be met to keep the body he althy. However, the recommended daily protein intake varies from person to person, depending on age and gender.
The following are recommendations for daily protein intake according to the Ministry of He alth of the Republic of Indonesia in 2019:
- Children aged 1–6 years: 20–25 grams
- Children aged 7–9 years: 35–40 grams
- Teenagers: 60–75 grams
- Adults: 50–70 grams
- Pregnant and lactating women: 70–85 grams
The recommended daily protein intake may also vary from person to person depending on the level of physical activity and he alth conditions.
People who are advised to consume more protein are athletes, the elderly, and people who are undergoing the process of recovering from an injury or illness. However, protein intake may need to be limited or reduced under certain conditions, for example when the body has kidney damage or impaired function.
To meet protein needs, you can eat protein foods, such as lean meats, eggs, nuts, fish, cheese, milk, or protein supplements, if needed.
The Impact of Excess Protein on the Body
Although protein deficiency is not good for the body, excess protein can also potentially cause he alth problems. The following are some of the effects of excess protein in the body:
1. Ketone buildup and bad breath
Replacing the intake of carbohydrate foods, such as rice, by eating too many high-protein foods can cause the body to experience a condition called ketosis.
This condition can make ketone chemicals build up in the body, causing bad breath. In addition, the buildup of ketones can also harm the kidneys.
2. Weight gain
A high-protein diet can indeed help reduce weight in a short time. However, the long-term effect of this diet can actually increase weight because the excess protein will be stored as fat tissue.
This is more likely to happen if you eat high protein foods that are also high in fat, such as red meat or fatty meats.Meanwhile, for athletes or people who regularly train their muscles, a high-protein diet can increase muscle mass, so that weight gain will also increase.
3. Kidney damage
In the body, protein will be processed into amino acids. The rest of protein metabolism into amino acids will become urea which needs to be filtered and excreted by the kidneys through urine.
This is the reason why a high protein intake can make the kidneys work extra. Therefore, people with kidney disease are generally advised to limit or reduce protein intake to prevent further kidney damage.
4. Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Intake of animal protein sourced from red meat, fatty meat, or offal, also contains a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Therefore, consuming too many high-protein foods of animal origin can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
5. Loss of calcium
High protein intake can cause the body to waste more calcium. Reducing the amount of calcium in the body has been shown to make bones porous and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Actually, not only the amount of protein, but the source of protein consumed also needs to be considered. Experts recommend choosing protein intake from several sources, both animal sources such as fish, and plant protein sources such as nuts and seeds.
Although excess protein is thought to be associated with an increased risk of several diseases, further research is still needed to examine the general impact of excess protein on he alth.
So that your protein intake is sufficient, not too little or too much, live a he althy and balanced diet. However, if you have certain diseases, consult your doctor to find out the amount of protein intake that suits your condition.