The Strange Case of The Bodybuilder Who Died From Taking Too Much Protein

The strange case of the bodybuilder who died from taking too much protein

In bodybuilding or bodybuilding, diets based on an exaggerated consumption of proteins is a typical topic. However, depending on the case and the excess, it can lead to serious illness and even death.

The diet carried out winstrol tabletten kaufen by bodybuilders is usually highly protein-based, in some cases exceeding 3 g / kg / day, despite the fact that current studies have shown that it is useless and even dangerous to exceed the limit of 2 g / kg / day  in any type of diet.

Still, this type of diet is still a classic, and it is the same that was carried out by Meegan Hefford, a 25-year-old bodybuilder and mother of two children living in Australia and who was found unconscious at home, according to an echo recently the New York Post .

Later, in the hospital, Hefford suffered a brain death and died two days after his arrival. The cause: an excess of protein consumption, due to a disease suffered by Hefford called urea cycle disorder.

What is urea cycle disorder

When food is consumed, the human body breaks it down into its basic parts. Macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins – are ‘cut up’ into small pieces to be absorbed. In the case of proteins, these small parts are called amino acids. If they are not used completely, the human body eliminates the remains of these amino acids, converting us into nitrogen, which is eliminated by the body in the form of urea through a metabolic cycle called the urea cycle . Urea, after completing the cycle, is eliminated in the urine.

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However, when an individual suffers from a urea cycle disorder , as was the case with Hefford, the human body is unable to convert nitrogen to urea. In this case, nitrogen tends to accumulate in the blood in the form of ammonia, a very toxic substance for the human organism. Such excess ammonia can lead to irreversible brain damage.

This type of disease is considered a rare disease, affecting only 1 in 30,000 births, which can be caused by a failure in one of the six enzymes that participate in the cycle that converts nitrogen into urea. In addition, it is a hereditary genetic disorder , which implies that this bodybuilder inherited it from one of his parents.

How a urea cycle disorder develops

As in other similar diseases, disorders of the urea cycle can be mild or very serious . In the latter case, there are individuals who barely have activity in the urea cycle enzymes, which would imply that just 24 hours after birth the symptoms of the disease would already be expressed, according to the National Foundation for Cycle Disorders of the Urea  from USA

If you suffer from a mild or moderate urea cycle disorder , symptoms may appear in childhood, highlighting the refusal to eat protein foods, growth delays or excessive crying. Vomiting, lethargy and even delirium can progressively occur. Without treatment, it can cause death.

Hefford’s case  was mild, as he reached adulthood without being previously diagnosed. However, her protein-rich diet and excessive physical exercise caused her symptoms; even stress, childbirth, or certain types of viruses can trigger such symptoms.

Currently there is no cure for this group of diseases, but its treatment consists of carrying out a low protein diet and taking certain drugs that help eliminate ammonia accumulated in the body. Sometimes it is necessary to take amino acid supplements to ensure proper body function. And, in severe cases, it is necessary to get a liver transplant.

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