Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality.
JAMA internal medicine. 2020;180(9):1173-1184
Plain language summary
High-quality protein diets have been shown in previous studies to have health benefits, mainly due to associated fat loss. However, studies examining dietary protein sources and death has not been extensively researched and is often controversial. This cohort study of 400,000 participants aimed to examine whether plant and animal protein intake from various sources effects death rates over 16 years. The results showed that increased intakes of plant protein were associated with lower rates of death by any cause in both men and women, whereas animal protein intake was not. Plant protein intake was associated with lower death rates from heart disease and stroke combined but did not affect death rates due to heart disease alone, cancer or respiratory disease. Interestingly when substituting 3% energy from animal protein to plant protein an association with lower death rates from all causes and heart disease was observed, which was especially apparent when substituting red meat and egg protein but not white meat protein. It was concluded that dietary modifications in favour of plant protein may incur health benefits resulting in longer life. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to understand that recommending dietary changes to increase plant protein intake may increase longevity.
Importance: Although emphasis has recently been placed on the importance of high-protein diets to overall health, a comprehensive analysis of long-term cause-specific mortality in association with the intake of plant protein and animal protein has not been reported. Objective: To examine the associations between overall mortality and cause-specific mortality and plant protein intake. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study analyzed data from 416 104 men and women in the US National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study from 1995 to 2011. Data were analyzed from October 2018 through April 2020. Exposures: Validated baseline food frequency questionnaire dietary information, including intake of plant protein and animal protein. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hazard ratios and 16-year absolute risk differences for overall mortality and cause-specific mortality. Results: The final analytic cohort included 237 036 men (57%) and 179 068 women. Their overall median (SD) ages were 62.2 (5.4) years for men and 62.0 (5.4) years for women. Based on 6 009 748 person-years of observation, 77 614 deaths (18.7%; 49 297 men and 28 317 women) were analyzed. Adjusting for several important clinical and other risk factors, greater dietary plant protein intake was associated with reduced overall mortality in both sexes (hazard ratio per 1 SD was 0.95 [95% CI, 0.94-0.97] for men and 0.95 [95% CI, 0.93-0.96] for women; adjusted absolute risk difference per 1 SD was -0.36% [95% CI, -0.48% to -0.25%] for men and -0.33% [95% CI, -0.48% to -0.21%] for women; hazard ratio per 10 g/1000 kcal was 0.88 [95% CI, 0.84-0.91] for men and 0.86 [95% CI, 0.82-0.90] for women; adjusted absolute risk difference per 10 g/1000 kcal was -0.95% [95% CI, -1.3% to -0.68%] for men and -0.86% [95% CI, -1.3% to -0.55%] for women; all P < .001). The association between plant protein intake and overall mortality was similar across the subgroups of smoking status, diabetes, fruit consumption, vitamin supplement use, and self-reported health status. Replacement of 3% energy from animal protein with plant protein was inversely associated with overall mortality (risk decreased 10% in both men and women) and cardiovascular disease mortality (11% lower risk in men and 12% lower risk in women). In particular, the lower overall mortality was attributable primarily to substitution of plant protein for egg protein (24% lower risk in men and 21% lower risk in women) and red meat protein (13% lower risk in men and 15% lower risk in women). Conclusions and Relevance: In this large prospective cohort, higher plant protein intake was associated with small reductions in risk of overall and cardiovascular disease mortality. Our findings provide evidence that dietary modification in choice of protein sources may influence health and longevity.
Inflammageing: chronic inflammation in ageing, cardiovascular disease, and frailty.
Nature reviews. Cardiology. 2018;15(9):505-522
Plain language summary
Inflammageing is a term used to describe elevated blood inflammatory markers that leads to frailty and increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, kidney disease and other physical and mental illnesses. Whether inflammageing is causal in heart disease is still uncertain. This large review of 310 papers aimed to understand the causes and role of inflammageing in heart disease and other illnesses associated with ageing. Causes of inflammageing were discussed and mechanisms are not fully understood. Genetic susceptibility, obesity, gut microbiota, gut permeability, when cells can no longer divide, and chronic infections were all implicated. The role of inflammageing in heart disease was a focus and the authors deduced that it was likely to be both causal and a result of heart disease. However, the administration of anti-inflammatories in heart disease has not always proved a successful treatment. Possible causes of inflammageing are likely to be linked and cumulative and although inflammation may cause age related diseases, its role in protecting the body means that its benefits outweigh its consequences. It was concluded that controlling inflammageing may prevent heart disease and other diseases associated with ageing. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to help understand what inflammageing is and its role in age related diseases.
Most older individuals develop inflammageing, a condition characterized by elevated levels of blood inflammatory markers that carries high susceptibility to chronic morbidity, disability, frailty, and premature death. Potential mechanisms of inflammageing include genetic susceptibility, central obesity, increased gut permeability, changes to microbiota composition, cellular senescence, NLRP3 inflammasome activation, oxidative stress caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, immune cell dysregulation, and chronic infections. Inflammageing is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and clinical trials suggest that this association is causal. Inflammageing is also a risk factor for chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, depression, dementia, and sarcopenia, but whether modulating inflammation beneficially affects the clinical course of non-CVD health problems is controversial. This uncertainty is an important issue to address because older patients with CVD are often affected by multimorbidity and frailty - which affect clinical manifestations, prognosis, and response to treatment - and are associated with inflammation by mechanisms similar to those in CVD. The hypothesis that inflammation affects CVD, multimorbidity, and frailty by inhibiting growth factors, increasing catabolism, and interfering with homeostatic signalling is supported by mechanistic studies but requires confirmation in humans. Whether early modulation of inflammageing prevents or delays the onset of cardiovascular frailty should be tested in clinical trials.