The Real Effects of a High Protein Diet

Ever been accused of eating too much protein? If you have, you’ve probably been told that your kidneys will explode from consuming such a high protein diet.

I hear this all the time. In fact, when I teach exercise physiology, I challenge my students to see if they can find a peer-reviewed study showing that in healthy people, too much protein will damage their kidneys. Can you guess what they find?

Nothing, nada, zilch, zip. The data does not currently exist.

Then why does this myth exist? Part of the reason is that eating more protein will increase the amount of work your kidneys have to do. Markers such as creatinine (NOT creatine) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate) may go up, indicating that your kidneys are working harder. But does that mean there’s any indication of damage? Let’s find out. Read more…

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