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Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidneys?

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Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidneys?

Postby rattlestick » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:23 am

I would appreciate your input on the matter.
Especially if you're aware of any studies that have been done on this topic.

I would be interested to know if there are any limits one should adhere to with regards to grams of protein consumption / lb or kg of metabolic weight.
My logic tells me that there's also a qualitative aspect here. i.e 30 grams of whey protein is not equal to 30 grams of say casein protein due to the different speed of absorption. The first probably causes an acute peak in blood nitrogen whereas the second a more blunt peak.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby red_donn » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:18 pm

No - ABSOLUTELY NOT.

This myth was started when a study decades ago found that patients with kidney failure had trouble digesting protein. Some dumbasses immediately assumed that since malfunctioning kidneys couldn't handle large amounts of protein, then healthy ones would also be stressed by protein.

Similar myths have jumped up with the idea that high-protein diets leech calcium from bones, etc.

Excess protein consumption in strength-trained athletes has fairly negligible risks, by all accounts. The whole field of ketogenic dieting demonstrates this very well. Unless you are in the league of 400+ grams of protein per day then don't bother sweating it for a moment. I'm sure you have other parts of your diet that could better be fixed.

If you are really, really interested in the subject, Dr. Lowery has a textbook on the protein intake for strength-trained individuals.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby red_donn » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:23 pm

Various strength coaches have said that more protein than one gram per pound of bodyweight does not typically yield benefits when gaining muscle. Some people require only 70 excess grams of protein to build one pound of muscle, but 2,000-2,500 excess calories are typically required. I haven't read the study, or the biochem calculations, indicating the amount of protein needed, but more than 100 excess grams won't be necessary.

Protein quantity should be carefully monitored when dieting down, to prevent muscle loss.

Increased protein and fat intake can be very useful in reducing muscle soreness after strength training.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby rattlestick » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:57 am

Thanks for your input red donn.

Interesting points you've made. It seems that general experience suggests that protein consumption has no correlation with renal failure. Perhaps, as you suggested, these rumors are all just bro science and gym chatter. But it's interesting to note, as you have, that patients with renal insufficiency are advised against high protein diets.

In fact one of the functions of the kidney is to purify the blood, including the elimination of excess nitrogen, mostly in the form of urea.
People with renal insufficiency have a reduced number of functioning nephrons (the functional unit of the kidney) and as a result have a tendency to accumulate nitrogen (BUN) - which is one of the parameters that is monitored for kidney function. Paradoxically these people also lose protein in their urine! (in chronic renal failure)

But aside from affecting blood nitrogen levels, protein consumption could theoretically alter the urine pH -which in turn could give rise to a higher incidence of kidney stones. I wonder if there are any studies on this matter, as kidney stones can be a cause of Kidney failure.

In any case, it is clear that kidney function goes down with age. At the same time, catabolism prevales over anabolism. I wonder how age would affect the recommendations on protein consumption.

Aside for the prehistoric study you mentioned, are you aware of any other studies that have been conducted to test this?
It would be strange if this has not been tested to a greater extent considering the amount of people in the world that are supplementing protein or are consuming a high protein diet.

Thanks again. Cheers
RS
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby rattlestick » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:04 am

Btw, do you have the details of the Lowery book?
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby red_donn » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:22 am

First and foremost, I should say that I don't trust 99% of doctors when they talk about nutrition. I've heard no less than four PHD's with backgrounds in biochemistry, sports science, nutrition, etc state that hospital and general medical recommendations are worthless. They all had to do a stint as part of getting their PHD's, hence the great disdain.

Now in respect to someone already going through renal failure, it is true that protein is problematic as you say. However, one of the few things Lowery did say about his book was that, in a massive review of modern literature, he found nothing to indicate that high levels of protein directly stressed the kidneys. Now, he didn't say what the tested ceiling was on any of these studies, but since ketogenic diets push well over 300-400 grams of protein per day with no reported kidney risks. I listened to an interview with the foremost researcher of ketogenic diets and recall her saying no such risks have come up.

Kidney stones, of course, may be another matter entirely. High protein, calcium, and caffeine intake can contribute to these, from what little I have heard on the matter. This is something to watch out for if you are thinking of a seriously high protein diet.

I should also point out that the kidneys are organs that have corresponding adaptive capabilities. This means that appropriate stresses will likely be beneficial to their function, or at least produce adaptations rather than causing failure. For example, a small intake of alcohol on a regular basis results in stronger kidneys, as per clinical studies. One theory is that our kidneys are adapted to filter out a much high amount of toxins from the Paleolithic era, and that the work of breaking down alcohol exercises them in the same way that cardiovascular activity stresses the heart.

http://www.amazon.com/Dietary-Protein-Resistance-Exercise-Michael/dp/1439844569

Lowery knows his shit and is a highly-respected researcher. Granted, I have an extremely high standard for meta-analyses that he hasn't quite been able to match during his online radio shows (Iron Radio) but he still displays an encyclopedic knowledge on the fly. I'm sure that, with time to sit down and write out his thoughts, he's produced a top-quality product. I have a number of other books on top of my list first, but this one makes sense for anyone contemplating long-term high-protein diets.

Carl Lancone (Superhuman Training radio) is another guy worth looking up. He's all about nutrition, supplements, etc, and has fuck tons of ads on his show, but he really knows nutrition. His appearance on Iron Radio was a back and forth of studies, nutritional info, etc with Lowery that really impressed me. He may have some things to say on the questions you've raised - I'd recommend checking out both the IronRadio and the SuperHumanTraining rss feeds to search through old shows that might be relevant to your questions.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby Fearless6691 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:35 am

Doctors focus to much on sickness and not enough on healthiness.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby rattlestick » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:10 am

Red Donn, thanks for your informative reply. You seem to really know your stuff!

I will definitely check out that book out as i'm a bit of a science / medicine / nutrition aficionado myself.

I'll also try to browse through the RSS feeds you mentioned when i have the chance.

Thanks again man.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby red_donn » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:51 am

You're welcome rattlestick - I know a bit of this and that regarding nutrition. Definitely know exercise science a lot better, though, so I'm hesitant to get very specific about these things. I know a little bit here and there, some fun facts, etc, but I always feel like there are cohesive concepts that I am missing without really getting into some of the anatomy, hormones, and biochemistry.

For some other sources, I recall that John Meadows, John Berardi, and the Weston Price Foundation all have been highly recommended at various times.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby Glen222 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:47 pm

Consumption of high protein is almost necessary for most of the bodybuilders. They use protein daily, without knowing that if medically they really need that or not. But they just want to gain more and more strength. Let me say that excess of anything is bad whether the thing itself is fine in normal range.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby timbercutter » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:57 pm

I trust Red on this one.....I'm too lazy to research it on my own......................................................................
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby biscuits69 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:39 am

Excessive protein definitely shortens your lifespan and ages you quicker imo.

Remember its not .7-1.5 grams per bodyweight, its .7-1.5 grams per lean body mass.

So if you are 200 lbs 10% bodyfat, it means you would consume 180 grams of protein not 200 to get the 1 lb per lbm
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby timbercutter » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:59 pm

my post workout protein is about 50-60 grams of isolate....I weigh about 175....is that ok?
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby KingOfPancrase » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:15 pm

timbercutter wrote:my post workout protein is about 50-60 grams of isolate....I weigh about 175....is that ok?

Absolutely.
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Re: Question - is high protein consumption bad for your kidn

Postby Fearless6691 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:26 pm

timbercutter wrote:my post workout protein is about 50-60 grams of isolate....I weigh about 175....is that ok?

Well it also depends on what else you eat during the day.
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