High protein diets have seen a surge in popularity in recent years for their benefits in weight management, muscle recovery and appetite suppression. However the risks of adhering to such diets long term are still being studied and it appears that they may not be all they’re cracked up to be. According to brand new research out of the University of California, there are clear links between excessive long-term protein consumption with potential kidney damage.
The new findings, led by nephrologist Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, stemmed from an examination into the role nutrition plays in controlling chronic kidney disease, a condition found in around 10 per cent of the world’s adults.
“The high protein diet that has been used increasingly in recent years to control weight gain and obesity may have deleterious impacts on kidney health in the long term,” said Kalantar-Zadeh, director of the Harold Simmons Center of Kidney Disease Research and Epidemiology, and chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, UC Irvine School of Medicine.
Chronic kidney disease is normally diagnosed after three or more months of reduced kidney functioning or structural damage, and it is the waste products that come from protein metabolism within the body that accelerates existing kidney damage.
Although the news isn’t great, the negative effects can be limited and managed through non-medical, nutritional management.
When looking at the results of the study, Kalantar-Zadeh saw evidence that through lowering protein and salt intake, the progression of kidney disease can be slowed, lowering toxins in the blood, and deferring the need to start dialysis.
“There is an exceptionally high cost and burden of maintenance dialysis therapy and kidney transplantation,” he said. “Thus, dietary interventions and nutritional therapy may be increasingly chosen as a management strategy for [chronic kidney disease], helping to increase longevity and delaying the need for the onset of dialysis for millions of people worldwide.”
Whilst the news isn’t dire, this study gives us reason to consider the long term effects our eggs and chicken.
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