High protein diets increase risk to kidneys?
High-protein diets used as a means of losing weight could be damaging to the kidneys, according to a warning from the American Kidney Fund (AKF). The diets place such a significant strain on the kidneys that even conditioned athletes can become dehydrated, the AKF said, citing researchers at the University of Connecticut.
Paul W. Crawford, the AKF’s chairman of medical affairs, said: “We have long suspected that high-protein weight loss diets could have a negative impact on the kidneys, and now we have research to support our suspicions. Dehydration forces the kidneys to work harder to clean toxins from the blood. Kidneys not only filter the blood, but they also help regulate blood pressure and the number of red blood cells.”
“Increased protein intake leads to a build-up of nitrogen in the blood. The nitrogen ends up at the kidney in the form of urea, where it needs to be cleaned from the blood and got rid of in the urine,” explained Crawford. “The resulting increase in urination can cause dehydration, further straining the kidneys,” he added.