Is Pea Protein Inflammatory
5 min read

Is Pea Protein Inflammatory?

Clean Lean Protein Diet & Nutrition Lifestyle Advice

Pea protein powder is very popular these days. It’s a fantastic alternative for anyone that wants to go vegan so that they can get enough protein in their diet. Many people wonder, is pea protein inflammatory?

Pea protein helps tame inflammation for heart health, however, those with gout should be careful. The purines found in pea protein can cause those with specific conditions to have additional inflammation. 

What is inflammation and how does it occur through food?

Our bodies are dealing with inflammation all the time and we are exceptional in doing so. Many foods we eat may have a reaction in our system either because we have a sensitivity to it or a more pronounced allergy or underlying condition which has been built up, over time.

Basically when your body is ‘triggered’ your inflammatory control response is kicked off in your immune system, via the release of white blood cells and producing histamines.  The body is simply trying to inflame the area, in order to stimulate bloodflow. The side effect of this process is inflammation an we list some of the specific symptoms you can look for below. 

Why would pea protein cause inflammation?

As pea protein has lower pH levels, research has shown that plant-based proteins actually assist to lower levels of inflammation. But there are some instances where other aspects of pea protein may lead to additional inflammation, if you have an underlying or overly sensitive condition.

One of the most common conditions in this category are those who suffer from gout.

Those who suffer from gout which is a form of arthritis, are sensitive to high levels of purines.  Across food groups, purines are high in red meat, organ meats, many types of fatty fish and also the entire legume family (peas).     What happens in gout suffers is that the purine will break down into uric acid. This will then form crystals in your joints, leading to inflammation.  Someone who has Gout often swelling and feels the associated pain. 

Quick facts: 

  • Gout is an age related arthritic condition and can be tightly associated to other metabolic conditions
  • Historically it was considered the ‘disease of the rich’ due to the food groups that contain high purine levels
  • Currently 4% of the population suffers from gout
  • The frequency of measurably high purine levels in US adults has increased over the last 20 years!

The great news is that there have been several studies that indicate those with gout can usually still consume moderate levels of purine-rich plant-based food, without having a direct impact.Foods that fall into this category are; peas, dried beans and tofu.

So, while pea protein is good for most in benefiting health and contributing to weight loss, it can be problematic for some with certain conditions.

What are the symptoms that I may be adversely affected by pea protein?

If you feel that you may have a reaction to pea protein, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look out for:

  • Skin sensitivity.  If you have itchiness, a sudden breakout or redness
  • Stomach bloating or general fluid retention
  • Excessive gas or stomach cramps
  • In extreme cases, nausea, diarrhea and/ or vomiting

Although it is extremely unlikely to experience any of the above conditions when consuming pea protein, you should certainly stop taking it to ensure the pea protein is not the trigger.  If symptoms persist, it is key to seek medical assistance from your healthcare professional.

Bottom Line: Is Pea Protein Inflammatory?

The research overwhelmingly suggests Pea Protein decreases inflammation!

If you’re worried about inflammation, check with your doctor to get tested to know the best way to target your health. 

Disclaimer: The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.


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