The Health Implications of Protein: Interview with Dr. Donald Layman

Daniel Lehewych, M.A
6 min readNov 30, 2019

Protein is an integral part of our diet. It is a necessary component to almost all factors of living. However, its implications for our health are frequently misunderstood.

Recently I spoke to Dr. Donald Layman about some of the health implications of protein. Dr. Layman holds a Ph.D. in nutrition and runs a large lab at the University of Illinois’ nutrition Ph.D. program. This lab and Dr. Layman’s research primarily focus on a multiplicity of topics regarding protein and amino acids, including their role in human health. He definitely can be considered the go-to guy when it comes to questions concerning protein.

Dr. Donald Layman

My first question to Dr. Layman was predicated on his research (1) which showed that a protein intake at higher levels than the current RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), which is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, improved various health markers.

Daniel: What exactly is wrong with the current RDA for protein? What would be the health implications of raising it?

Donald: I actually think that the RDA is okay. However, it is being misused. The definition of the RDA is the…

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Daniel Lehewych, M.A

Philosopher and Author Bylines: Big Think, Newsweek, PsychCentral