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Meaty diets may raise risk of dying young

Reducing protein can lengthen life, improve health, studies in mice and people suggest

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4:28pm, March 4, 2014

To live longer, lower your protein intake. In two independent studies, people and mice eating diets low in protein were healthier and tended to live longer than those eating protein-rich diets. Both studies, which appear in the March 4 Cell Metabolism, suggest that animal proteins, including those from meat and dairy, are less healthy than plant proteins.

In a study of 6,381 people 50 and older, those age 65 and younger who got less than 10 percent of their calories from protein had lower risks of dying from cancer and diabetes  during 18 years of follow-up than those who ate more protein. People who ate moderate amounts of protein — making up 10 to 19 percent of the diet — had, for instance, three times the chance of dying from cancer as those on a low-protein diet. After age 65, though, the pattern reversed with high-protein diets (20 percent or more) carrying lower risks of dying of cancer.

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