Just two weeks ago, 25-year-old Australian Meegan Hefford died from a protein overdose.
The mother of two had been taking protein supplements and shakes daily to prepare for an upcoming bodybuilding competition.
After being found unconscious in her apartment, doctors discovered that Hefford had a rare genetic condition called Urea Cycle Disorder,
which affects one in 8,000 people. But it was too late.
“Her body just basically didn’t break down urea, the nitrogenous compound from protein,” said Basheerah Enahora, a registered dietician, and nutritionist with BE Nutrition in Charlotte.
When the body can’t flush the ammonia, it goes into the bloodstream and poisons the brain, eventually leading to brain damage, coma, and death. Enahora went on to say that the supplement industry is not regulated and that what could be perceived as a quick fix can be dangerous.