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Australian Bodybuilder's Overdose of Protein Led to Death

Image: Australian Bodybuilder's Overdose of Protein Led to Death
Australian bodybuilder Meegan Hefford died in part because of an overdose of protein. (Insatgram/@meeganheff)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 August 2017 04:33 PM

The death of a 25-year-old Australian bodybuilder was partially blamed on an overdose of protein shakes along with a rare condition that prevented her body from breaking down the protein.

Meegan Hefford of Mandurah had competed as a body builder since 2014 and was following a strict diet that included high amounts of protein, including protein shakes, in advance of a September competition, Perth Now reported.

Hefford was found unconscious in her apartment June 19 and taken to the hospital, where she died June 22 after being diagnosed with urea cycle disorder, a condition that affects about one in 8,000 people, Perth Now said.

The condition was unknown to Hefford, who left behind a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

Hefford’s mother Michelle White reported her daughter had complained of lethargy and feeling “weird” in early June, , Perth Now reported, but continued consuming shakes and going to the gym twice a day for training.

Urea cycle disorder causes one enzyme to be deficient in the body, which makes it unable to remove nitrogen waste from the blood. The disorder causes toxic ammonia to build up in the bloodstream and damage the brain, eventually leading to death. A normal diet might not trigger the disorder, but an illness or high protein diet can bring it on, CNN reported.

White said protein supplements should be regulated more to prevent these situations, according to CNN.

The condition can be treated with a balanced diet in some instances, while others require amino acid supplementation or even a liver transplant in the most severe cases, CNN reported. There is no cure.

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The death of a 25-year-old Australian bodybuilder was partially blamed on an overdose of protein shakes along with a rare condition that prevented her body from breaking down the protein.
australian, bodybuilder, overdose, protein, death
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2017-33-15
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 04:33 PM
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