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Best Absorbed: Plant or Animal Protein?

From eNewsletter 7/13/2022

DID YOU KNOW that we consider the lipid marker triglycerides as important, if not more so, than LDL cholesterol when assessing not just cardiac, but overall health? A recent study in Nutrients found that high serum triglyceride levels are independently and negatively correlated with prostate cancer among American males. Another study from Neurology states that people who have atherothrombotic stroke have higher levels of triglycerides, and may have a higher risk of having another stroke or other cardiovascular problems one year later. The study found an association even when people were taking statin drugs to protect against heart attack and stroke. The great thing is triglycerides are easy to bring down with diet and lifestyle modifications!

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Best Absorbed: Plant or Animal Protein?

Steve: As we have said when the plant-based protein craze began, the truth would eventually come out. The data has been coming out in dribs and drabs, but a new finding from Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirms what we've been saying all along about plant protein. The authors report that proteins from plant-based substitutes are not as accessible to cells as those from animal protein. Meat-substitute peptides are less water-soluble than those from animal protein, and they are not absorbed as as well by human cells. This is a critical point that we have tried to drive home. Plant protein is not absorbed as well as animal protein. In some case, depending upon your genetic variation, plant protein is absorbed more as a carbohydrate than a protein. The JAFC study came on the heels of a study from Nutrition Reviews that found vegetarian and vegan diets "significantly increased depression risk" in the subjects the researchers followed. We'll say it again. There are few human beings that thrive as vegetarians, and even fewer that thrive as vegans. Maybe in a thousand years, as our genes adapt, we will be able to utilize plant protein as well as we do animal protein. We are also hoping cell culture proteins will prove to be safe and assimilated as well as animal protein. Until then, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you must work with a knowledgable health professional who can be honest with you and tell you if you are one of the few that can thrive on these eating styles.