In a recent blog post at Juice Daily I found some interesting claims about high protein diets.
Protein can Cause Your Kidneys to Explode!
The kidney’s blood vessels are very small so they can easily get damaged by the size of proteins passing through,” says McGrice.
Additionally, McGrice says studies shown that long-term high protein diets (roughly >2g/kg body weight) can damage our kidney function.
In fact, the kidneys don’t process protein, the liver processes protein (peptides which are groups of amino acids) and the kidneys deal with the waste products from that process which is primarily urea.
As for the claim that studies have shown that long-term high protein diets harm the kidneys is just untrue. Unless, you have a pre-existing kidney condition there is NO evidence that a high protein diet puts any additional strain on your kidneys. I couldn’t find anything in PubMed and WebMD is quite clear that high protein diets are only a problem if you already have a kidney problem. Chronic Kidney Disease is a serious issue and progression of the disease can be managed somewhat by controlling levels of phosphorus and urea by manipulating dietary protein.
Protein can Cause Serious Health Issues!
Interestingly, too much protein can still result in weight gain and other serious health issues. Studies have found that a diet too high in red and processed meat can increase the risk of some types of cancers, especially bowel cancer.
This confuses a protein source with protein itself and it’s probably not the protein content of red meat and processed meats that correlated to the increased risk of cancers. Fish is also a great high protein food source but you’re unlikely to read that a diet to high in fish leads to health problems!
And then finally.
‘Rabbit starvation’ – only eating lean rabbits, was something the first settlers did in America and died from – it’s far too much protein and toxic.
Well eating only lean rabbits will kill you, that much is true. But although ‘rabbit starvation’ is also known as ‘protein poisoning’ the fatal factor is not protein but the lack of fat.
And this ironically then points us to what is probably the only issue with high protein diets and that is they’re fine for some people as long as you’re getting optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals (think fruit and veggies) and good fats!