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Protein-Rich Diet: Is It Harmful For People With Kidney Problems? This Study Finds Out

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Proteins are one of the most important macronutrients that we need for proper functioning. They provide us energy, help in boosting muscle and tissue strength, and also aid weight loss. We are advised to consume proteins every day to avoid its deficiency. But did you know for some people, high-protein diet may also cause harm? Unbelievable, isn’t it? Doctors, nutritionists, health experts all over the world have always promoted high consumption of proteins. A high-protein diet (HPD) never came across as something harmful. But, if the findings of a new study are to be believed, a high-protein diet may harm kidney function.

“How often have you been told to eat more protein and less carbohydrates to stay healthy? This is not an emerging food culture but rather a prevailing dogma in our society. Physicians, dietitians and other health care professionals tell us constantly about the advantages of a high-protein diet (HPD), such as losing weight rapidly, burning calories, diminishing appetite, preventing obesity, managing metabolic syndrome and treating diabetes,” said lead author Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh.

“This contemporary creed has gone so far that we feel continuously pressured to eat more protein and less carbohydrates, including even less fruits and vegetables. We feel compelled to eat only the meat patty of the sandwich and leave behind the bun when eating in front of others, otherwise we may lose credibility among friends and peers. If somebody dares to recommend a ‘low-protein diet’ (LPD) or, even worse, to imply that ‘HPD may cause harm’, then it would be considered a serious aberration to health and a taboo,” added Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh.

(Also Read: Can A Healthy Diet Boost Kidney Health? Your Genetics Will Decide)

People dealing with kidney problems are advised a low-protein diet

But, the research that the team conducted suggests that excessive consumption of proteins may not be good for people dealing with kidney related problems. That is the reason why these patients are always recommended a low-protein diet. 

The study findings that were published in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, suggest that consumption of a high-protein may increase glomerular filtration rate (GFR), resulting in ‘glomerular hyperfiltration’ as a result of the amino acid surge, which leads to dilatation of the ‘afferent’ arteriole and increased intraglomerular pressure. Inversely, a lower intake of dietary protein leads to more constriction of the afferent arteriole, resulting in decreased intraglomerular pressure and lowered GFR.

As per these findings, people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) or those at the risk of developing CKD (including diabetic or obese patients) may benefit from a low-protein diet (LPD). 
 

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