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Protein and the Gut!

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Protein sources
ID: eggs, poultry, beef, salmon and lemon with text "Protein and the gut microbiome:

A high protein diet can harm your gut microbiome…

Excessive protein intake results in fermentation by specific gut bugs, a process termed putrification.

Microbes which feed on protein typically belong to the Proteobacteria phylum and create end products including ammonia and sulphides which can damage the gut lining!

(Hughes, 2020)

An overgrowth of Proteobacteria is associated with symptoms including diarrhoea, constipation, foul smelling stool and flatulence with a sulphurous odour…

Consuming plenty of fibre alongside your protein can help prevent this!

Like everything, balance is key… Protein is required for virtually every function of the human body, including maintaining structure of cells and producing neurotransmitters and hormones...

If protein needs are increased, collagen peptides are a great way to meet your needs as they are absorbed quickly in the stomach/small intestine and therefore can't be utilised as a substrate by microbes in the colon. Collagen is also my protein of choice due to its role improving the integrity of the gut lining!

*studies displaying detrimental effects of protein on the gut microbiome administered 30-35% of the individuals total caloric intake from protein aka in a 2000ckal/day diet this equates to ~120-150g protein/day.


Hughes, R. L. (2020). A Review of the Role of the Gut Microbiome in Personalized Sports Nutrition. In Frontiers in Nutrition (Vol. 6, p. 191). Frontiers Media S.A.


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