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Gym, Protein Shakes & Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD); A Deadly Combination

Protein shakes can be deadly to people with Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD)

Gym and protein shakes usually go hand in hand, but supplements could be very dangerous if you have Urea Cycle Disorder.

Protein powder

Protein powder used to make shakes.

While protein supplements are a popular and effective way to achieve noticeable gym results, they could actually kill people who have Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD) – a condition that usually goes unnoticed.

The condition is not as rare as you’d think, roughly one in every 8,000 people are born with the genetic mutation that causes it. And while the number of people with UCD is relatively high, very few actually find out that they have it in the first place.

Mixing UCD with an unregulated protein intake can result in death, since it causes a buildup of ammonia in the blood and accumulation of fluid in the brain, which will lead to brain damage.

This is why experts always advise people to take protein-based supplements in moderation, and never as a meal replacement. The average recommended protein intake for men is roughly 55.5 grams a day and 45 grams for women.

The latest victim of mixing UCD and Protein is 25-year-old bodybuilder Meegan Hefford from West Australia, who was found unconscious in her apartment. She was rushed to hospital but passed away two days later.

The mother of two and paramedic trainee had been training for a bodybuilding competition in September, and thus followed a strict diet. She was consuming high levels of protein from shakes, supplements and protein-rich foods, but little did she know that she had UCD.

Make sure to consult your physician whenever you introduce anything new into your diet, and to do regular check ups whenever you’re following a certain diet or exercise program.

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