Kidney Disease: Dietician Strongly Warns Against Excessive Intake Of Protein, See Why


Kidney Disease: Dietician Strongly Warns Against Excessive Intake Of Protein, See Why

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A registered dietician-nutrionist has said that excessive intake of protein can damage the kidneys.

Cynthia Onyekwere in a chat with PUNCH HealthWise made this known.

The Dietician-Nutritionist acknowledged that protein is important in:

  • Building muscles.
  • Repairing tissues.
  • Fighting off infections.

Despite this nutritional benefit, Onyekwere said excessive consumption of protein stresses the kidneys. She further warned that this could lead to kidney damage.

The dietician also warned against relying solely on processed foods. She noted that consumers of processed foods are highly at risk of developing kidney diseases.

Onyekwere also warned that processed food predisposes people to Type 2 diabetes. This also increases their chances of contracting kidney diseases in life.

She said:

“Too much intake of protein can damage the kidneys. Although protein is required for the repair of worn-out tissues and the build-up of new ones, when consumed excessively, it is harmful to the kidneys. 

“This is because it is the kidney that helps the body to get rid of the waste products that are generated after the digestion of protein. 

“Eating too much protein will place more burden on the kidneys and this can progressively cause damage.”

The National Kidney Foundation and Mayo Clinic coroborrates Onyekwere’s claim.

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The NFK said too much intake of protein causes waste to build up in the blood. The kidney may not be able to remove the excess waste which can cause life threatening diseases.

Mayo Clinic – an integrated health care, education, and research portal took a similar stance. It says a high-protein diet may worsen kidney function in people with kidney disease. This is because the body may have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism.

The dietician also stressed that an unhealthy diet was a major contributing factor to the onset of kidney diseases.

Onyekwere explained:

“For one to keep kidney diseases away, it is important to pay close attention to his/her diet and make some dietary adjustments by mainly reducing intake of certain foods that can affect renal function negatively. 

“One of such foods to be reduced is salt. Salt contains sodium which when consumed in excess can cause high blood pressure which can lead to kidney damage.

“To achieve a reduced salt intake, one can start by reducing the amount of salt and stock cubes used in cooking, stop adding salt to meals when eating, and limit intakes of pastries and salty snacks. 

“Also, processed foods can also affect renal function and as such should be consumed in limited amounts. Examples of processed foods include canned meat and as well as canned fruits and vegetables. They should be consumed sparingly as they contain a lot of sodium.” 

The dietician also cautioned people against herbal concoctions. She said this is to ensure optimal renal function. 

“Herbal concoctions, be it in water or alcohol extracts contains substances that may be toxic to the kidneys,” she added.

How to Prevent Kidney Diseases

The dietician enjoined people to embrace a healthy lifestyle. She also urged people to go for frequent health checks for early detection and proper management.

PubMed Central Journal also spoke against the side effects of high-protein.

It explains this in an artiled titled “The Effects of High-Protein Diets on Kidney Health and Longevity”.

The authors said that high-protein diets have been popular for weight loss and type 2 diabetes.

Research claims that worsening renal function may occur in individuals with and without poor kidney function.

PMC is a free digital repository that archives open access scholarly articles that have been published in biomedical and life sciences journals.

The authors said long-term consumption of high protein might lead to chronic kidney disease.

It says:

“High dietary protein intake can cause intraglomerular hypertension, which may result in kidney hyperfiltration, glomerular injury, and proteinuria.

“It is possible that long-term high protein intake may lead to de novo CKD. The quality of dietary protein may also play a role in kidney health.

“Compared with protein from plant sources, animal protein has been associated with an increased risk of end-stage kidney disease in several observational studies, including the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

“Potential mediators of kidney damage from animal protein include dietary acid load, phosphate content, gut microbiome dysbiosis, and resultant inflammation.”

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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