Heading for surgery? You might want to consider a protein-free diet to prepare, new research suggests.
A new study of mice has found those put on a diet free of protein and the amino acid tryptophan for a week or two before surgery had better outcomes than those who didn’t.
The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, found the mice had “50 percent better organ function,” less damage to their kidneys and higher odds of survival after surgery than those that ate a normal diet.
Dr. James R. Mitchell, of the Harvard School of Public Health, noted the research involved mice so it’s unclear if the results would translate to humans.
Past studies have shown restricting calories before surgery can improve a patient’s recovery, but the new research suggests just cutting protein may be a better option.
Researchers said they suspect restricting calories and protein may activate some unknown process that may improve the body's ability to handle stress caused by surgical procedures.