A Closer Look at How One Female Bodybuilder Died from Too Much Protein

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 A Closer Look at How One Female Bodybuilder Died from Too Much Protein


Picture: Meegan Hefford Instagram

It is no magic formula that schooling for a bikini levels of competition is intense—just inquire Cassey Ho. But the story of a young Australian woman’s loss of life though teaching for a bodybuilding competitiveness is understandably freaking out a ton of individuals. Meegan Hefford, a 25-calendar year-previous mom of two, was ingesting a superior-protein eating plan that also incorporated protein health supplements when she endured a buildup of fluid in her brain that inevitably led to her loss of life, in accordance to Perth Now.

What Hefford failed to know ahead of switching up her food plan was that she had a urea cycle problem, a unusual issue that created it unattainable for her physique to adequately system all the protein she was consuming. The trigger of loss of life stated on her demise certificate? “Intake of bodybuilding health supplements.”

Right before you get freaked out, here’s a minimal data about the rare ailment that caused Hefford’s loss of life. “A urea cycle condition is a genetic dysfunction wherever an enzyme concerned in the breakdown of protein to urea (which will get handed into your urine) is lacking or deficient,” clarifies Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., a bariatric health practitioner and cofounder of bistroMD. That suggests that in its place of your overall body processing protein in the standard way, there’s no way for it to exit your entire body successfully. This leads to excess ammonia in the bloodstream, and in Hefford’s circumstance, a buildup of fluid in the mind. Dr. Cederquist states that this kind of situation is relatively unheard of, and is typically identified in early infancy and childhood, especially when it is severe. Older people who have this deficient ability to system protein “can have difficulties with extreme ammonia buildup that qualified prospects to coma and even demise if they are underneath metabolic anxiety,” she clarifies. Illustrations of metabolic stress are a viral an infection, childbirth, major training, or a quite substantial protein intake—like in Hefford’s scenario.

Once again, there is certainly not significantly reason to stress right here, as Dr. Cederquist emphasizes that for the ordinary girl who is operating out and feeding on a large-protein diet plan, the possibility of creating a buildup of ammonia in the blood is little. In get for it to occur, the “fantastic storm” of factors, like a delicate kind of the genetic defect that triggers urea cycle disorder, major exercise, and quite significant protein consumption would *all* want to be existing. And just before points get dire, there would be indications like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, and slurred speech, she claims. Useless to say, “a female who is bodybuilding, eats a very higher protein diet, and has odd indications requirements to seek out medical care,” she says. (Related: How Much Protein Is As well Much?)

Looks like the odds of the regular female staying affected by this certain problem are pretty reduced, but is it attainable to overdo it on protein in other conditions? Not so significantly, according to Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist who spoke to us beforehand about the likelihood of ODing on protein powder. Unless of course you have a kidney problem, he defined, there are not genuinely any disadvantages to taking in more protein than you actually need to have. As a substitute, troubles a lot more frequently arise from additives that are discovered in some protein dietary supplements, like natural vitamins, creatine, caffeine, unwanted fat burners, and power boosters, or the reality that persons rely far too closely on protein powders and miss out on out on the nutrition that appear from true food stuff. (And if you happen to be not positive how considerably protein you actually have to have, scope this helpful information to protein requirements for women of all ages.)

In brief, also considerably protein in all probability just isn’t going to cause challenges for you. But if you notice any odd indicators following starting a higher-protein diet program, it is ideal to participate in it risk-free and examine in with your physician.

Meegan Hefford ProteinPicture: Meegan Hefford Instagram

It is really no solution that schooling for a bikini competitiveness is intense—just request Cassey Ho. But the tale of a younger Australian woman’s death while teaching for a bodybuilding competitors is understandably freaking out a whole lot of people. Meegan Hefford, a 25-year-old mother of two, was consuming a superior-protein diet program that also bundled protein nutritional supplements when she suffered a buildup of fluid in her mind that at some point led to her loss of life, in accordance to Perth Now.

What Hefford did not know in advance of switching up her diet was that she experienced a urea cycle dysfunction, a rare condition that built it extremely hard for her human body to thoroughly method all the protein she was ingesting. The bring about of death detailed on her death certificate? “Intake of bodybuilding supplements.”

Ahead of you get freaked out, here is a very little data about the uncommon situation that triggered Hefford’s death. “A urea cycle dysfunction is a genetic condition in which an enzyme associated in the breakdown of protein to urea (which gets passed into your urine) is missing or deficient,” describes Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., a bariatric medical doctor and cofounder of bistroMD. That implies that in its place of your human body processing protein in the usual way, there is certainly no way for it to exit your body successfully. This potential customers to excessive ammonia in the bloodstream, and in Hefford’s circumstance, a buildup of fluid in the mind. Dr. Cederquist states that this type of affliction is pretty unheard of, and is often identified in early infancy and childhood, specially when it is extreme. Adults who have this deficient ability to approach protein “can have difficulties with abnormal ammonia buildup that leads to coma and even death if they are beneath metabolic stress,” she explains. Examples of metabolic worry are a viral an infection, childbirth, hefty training, or a really higher protein intake—like in Hefford’s case.

Once again, you will find not a lot motive to worry here, as Dr. Cederquist emphasizes that for the average lady who is operating out and consuming a large-protein diet plan, the chance of creating a buildup of ammonia in the blood is modest. In buy for it to take place, the “fantastic storm” of things, like a gentle sort of the genetic defect that results in urea cycle dysfunction, heavy work out, and pretty high protein consumption would *all* require to be present. And right before factors get dire, there would be indications like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, and slurred speech, she says. Unnecessary to say, “a female who is bodybuilding, eats a very large protein diet program, and has odd symptoms requirements to request healthcare care,” she suggests. (Relevant: How A great deal Protein Is Much too Significantly?)

Appears like the possibilities of the average lady remaining affected by this particular affliction are pretty reduced, but is it doable to overdo it on protein in other circumstances? Not so substantially, in accordance to Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist who spoke to us earlier about the likelihood of ODing on protein powder. Except you have a kidney situation, he described, there usually are not seriously any drawbacks to having additional protein than you genuinely need. In its place, issues more often crop up from additives that are located in some protein dietary supplements, like nutritional vitamins, creatine, caffeine, body fat burners, and power boosters, or the fact that folks rely also heavily on protein powders and skip out on the nutrients that come from genuine food items. (And if you happen to be not sure how a great deal protein you actually want, scope this useful guide to protein demands for ladies.)

In shorter, much too substantially protein in all probability isn’t really likely to induce difficulties for you. But if you observe any unusual symptoms immediately after setting up a substantial-protein diet, it is greatest to perform it safe and examine in with your health practitioner.



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