Protein excess creating mineral deficiencies and poor health


It is important to first note that protein is the total nitrogen in a plant/vegetable multiplied by 6.25. So when we talk about high nitrogen we are also talking high protein.

Thousands of farm animals die every year in Australia and New Zealand from the direct or indirect effects of excess dietary protein. The actual end result is low energy so WHAT’S MY POINT?


High/excess protein diets in animals result in

(Same in Humans) we are no different

  • Lower digestive and intestinal pH
  • Reduced appetite
  • Reduced salivation time: Highly digestible so less chewing
  • Increased blood ammonia
  • Weight loss
  • Infertility
  • Kidney/liver problems
  • Still born young
  • Weak young at birth
  • Mis mothering (post natal depression in humans)
  • Increased production of histamines
  • Dilation of arteries around the heart increasing blood to the outer extremities of the body
  • Blood pooling in feet
  • Calcium deposits in arteries
  • Increased production of uric acid in the joints – arthritis
  • Increased requirement for supplementary minerals and vitamins – depressed vitamin A – calcium – magnesium – often increased potassium

The worst protein is coming from plants not from meat.

A diet consists of a balance of

  • Protein
  • Energy
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Water

What is the right percentage of protein of all?

USA FDA has confirmed that vegetables today contain 30% less nutrients than 30 years ago


Two reasons

  1. Plant breeders have developed plants that grow quicker
  2. Increased use of nitrogen fertilisers
  3. Eating fresh – really fresh is good.

Both these issues result in dilution, dilution of minerals within the plant.

A significant reduction of mineral and vitamin levels

Slow growth – fast growth

A plant that grows slower generally contain a greater concentration nutrients

A plant that grows faster is generally contains a lower concentration nutrients due to the dilution factor. Faster growing plants don’t take up more nutrients than a slower growing one so in the faster plant we have lower nutrient concentrations. Eating the same volume of each means you are consuming less nutrient value with the faster growing plant


Fresh is good but when too fresh the leaves are generally lower in total nutrient content.

Mineral content

When a farmer takes the leaves of a plant to send for an analysis he is advised to take recently matured leaves not the new ones, this is because the new ones are normally nutritionally inferior


Fresh leafy vegetables are often very high in protein eg 30 to 40%

What has happened in the farming world? And how does this apply to us now

1930 1940 saw the introduction of artificial fertiliser and lime on pastures in NZ and Australia

  • Pasture growth increased dramatically
  • Pasture protein levels were very high during spring and autumn growth
  • Stocking rates increased, one example a 400acre property carrying 400 sheep increased to 1500 sheep
  • But then stock losses increased
  • Intestinal worm infestation became a serious issue
  • Lambing percentages decreased
  • Profitability decreased
  • Government departments initially refused to recognise the issues

The problem – dilution of the mineral content of the pasture species due to the extra growth

  • Blood test were taken
  • Mineral deficiencies were identified
  • Pastures were analysed
  • Stock were treated for identified deficiencies
  • Fed mineral supplements during periods of fresh growth (high protein low mineral content pasture)
  • Problems were basically controlled


The 1970’s saw an increase in the use of nitrogen fertilisers – basically urea

  • Pasture production increased
  • Animal health issues increased. Hill country farmers in NZ that started using nitrogen fertilisers witnessed a dramatic increase in stock health issues and a serious decrease in production and profitability – the majority of those farmers still refuse to use any fertiliser containing nitrogen
  • In dairy herds magnesium deficiency developed
  • Cow deaths increased
  • Health issues became a serious problem

Mineral and vitamin supplements were introduced

  • Based on blood, pasture and supplement feed test
  • Today nearly every dairy farmer in Australia and NZ supplement their cows stock daily with a mineral vitamin product.

The human race:

Protein – mis understanding

  • It is assumed that when we talk protein we are only referring to meat
  • Not true – where do plant eating animals get their protein? – from plants
  • Some leafy vegetables can record upto 40% protein
  • They also can contain high levels of nitrates known as toxic or junk protein
  • Various meats contain different levels of protein – red meat 25 to 30%, pork 50%, lamb 25%, chicken 16%, fish 16%. These levels will vary depending on the fat percentage if you are consuming the fat? Once you remove the fat from meat you effectively increase the protein percentage
  • Note Asians seldom ever eat lean cuts of meat. They nearly always eat the fat
  • Chicken and fish are often considered high protein but they are about average at 16% protein


It is now about 30 years since many vegetable farmers introduced higher levels of nitrogen fertilisers into their growing program


I now see a complete repeat of the events that took place over the last 70 years back on the farm now taking place in our world

  • Increased use of nitrogen fertilisers
  • Dilution of vegetable nutrient content
  • Failure by many in authority to recognise the issue – but not all there are many doctors starting recognise the importance of taking daily supplements
  • Total mis understanding of what we need in our food
  • Promotion of high protein diets

High Protein Diets

High protein diets are great if you are over weight, but not long term, once you loose the weight you need to be back on a balanced diet.

Continuous intake of high protein can result in

  1. Reduced saliva production
  2. Low body pH
  3. Reduced appetite
  4. High blood ammonia and urea
  5. Weight loss
  6. High urea content of urine
  7. Low muscle glycogen levels
  8. Lower immune system
  9. Increased uric acid in joints
  10. Gout
  11. Increased arthritis
  12. Infertility
  13. Still births
  14. Thyroid problems
  15. Low calcium
  16. Low vitamin A
  17. Kidney liver problem
  18. increased cancer

Excesses- There is many examples in nutrition where an over supply of one element suppress another or creates health issues.

Protein (nitrogen) is one of these:

High nitrogen (protein) intake results in the suppression of

  • thyroid function
  • body temperature – reduces body resistance to fluctuating temperatures
  • carotene to vitamin A conversion – fruit and vegetables contain carotene which needs to be converted to vitamin A, this is done by the liver; high N intake reduces the body’s ability to make this conversion
  • calcium hormone production is reduced – low bone calcium, lower bone density
  • intestinal micro organism level reduced
  • increased uric acid – gout – break down of cartilage etc

In an ideal world we should all

  • Have a basic knowledge of what our body requires
  • Be able to identify the actual daily intake of mineral and vitamins we are getting from our diet and make up the difference with supplements just like a farmer does with their milking cows
  • Have blood tests every 4 months that provide a total assay of all mineral levels
  • Take remedial supplements of identified deficiencies or to counter excesses

There are clinics doing this now in Australia and NZ and Iam sure around the rest of the world, be great if the service was available from all doctors, you save governments millions but somehow we need to get past the government advisors

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