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Does Whey Protein Damage Your Kidneys

How Much Whey Protein Is Safe

Is Whey Protein Damaging For Your Kidneys?

First of all, you must understand that the percentage of protein in whey protein powders exceeds that of the natural sources of protein in our diet. As humans, our basic protein requirements are filled by the amount of protein we take from our diet.

Cod, milk, beef, eggs almost everything that we eat has some percentage of protein in it. When everything adds up, we get enough protein density in our bodies.

The daily recommended allowance for protein intake is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This means that 56 grams for individuals weighing about 154 pounds. For women, it will be a little lesser 46 grams for women to put this into perspective, lets add up the amount of protein from different sources of food. That being said, if you train regularly you should eat more protein than daily recommendations. You should aim to have 1 gram of protein per pound of weight.

  • Egg: 6 grams of protein
  • Greek yogurt: 18 grams

How Much Protein Do I Need Heres The Answer

Now that you explained to the naysayers that more protein is better, how much should you recommend?

Currently the FDA recommendation for a daily protein intake is 50 grams for both men and women. This is a very general recommendation and isnt accurate for highly active clients.

For people who work out, for athletes and trainers, more protein is necessary to build muscle and aid in recovery.

At this point, there arent any studies showing that 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is harmful – although theres still ongoing research in this area.

For clients who are moderately to extremely active, 2 to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is a good general guideline.

This means that for an athlete who weighs 175 pounds , protein in the range of 160 to 240 grams per day is reasonable, much more than the FDA recommendation.

While helping a client figure out how much protein to eat, it is important to keep in mind that too much protein can be harmful for anyone with kidney disease or kidney damage. For clients with kidney damage, a recommended intake is about 0.6 grams per kilogram. 6

Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is known as a silent disease. Symptoms are hard to detect, but you can get some simple tests done at your doctors office to find out if you have any issues with your kidneys.

It May Cause Digestive Issues

Most of whey proteins side effects are related to digestion.

Some people have problems digesting whey protein and experience symptoms such as bloating, gas, stomach cramps and diarrhea .

But most of these side effects are related to lactose intolerance.

Lactose is the main carb in whey protein. People who are lactose intolerant dont produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which your body needs to digest lactose .

Moreover, lactose intolerance is incredibly common and can affect up to 75% of people worldwide .

If you are lactose intolerant, try switching to a whey protein isolate powder.

Whey protein isolate is more refined, with a significantly smaller amount of fat and lactose than whey protein concentrate. People with lactose intolerance can often safely take whey protein isolate .

Alternatively, try a non-dairy protein powder, such as soy, pea, egg, rice or hemp protein.

Summary: Whey protein may cause uncomfortable symptoms in people with lactose intolerance. If you experience uncomfortable symptoms, try switching to whey isolate powder or a non-dairy protein powder.

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Can Protein Damage Kidneys Risk Of Kidney Damage And Whey Protein

When large amounts of whey protein are consumed over a long period of time, the risk of renal problems, particularly kidney stones, increases. Whey-rich, high-protein diets can be harmful to ones health since they can decrease kidney function.

The kidneys responsible for draining wastes are stressed when you eat a high protein diet for weight reduction. Those who follow this diet for a long time are more likely to develop renal issues, kidney stones, and renal failure in the worst-case scenario.

However, there isnt enough evidence to link long-term whey protein consumption to deterioration in renal function. Regardless, several experts warn that there is a risk and recommend that whey protein be consumed in moderation.

How Many Grams Of Protein A Day Is Too Much

My Personal Story With Kidney Damage And A High Protein ...

If there is a level of protein intake that is excessive and damaging to kidney health, we dont currently have evidence to show what this may be.

In other words, there is currently no such thing as too much protein regarding negatively impacting renal function.

Studies show that protein intake at up to 35% of total energy intake has no adverse effect on people with healthy kidneys.

The four studies mentioned in this article also consider all different people.

From resistance-trained individuals to pre-diabetics, people with abdominal obesity, and average healthy adults, no harm was found from increasing protein intake.

Of course, we should still be sensible, and we shouldnt overeat protein just for the sake of it. But overall, the data suggest that there would be no harm from consuming around 1 gram protein per pound of body weight.

Consuming more protein than this would likely be unnecessary for the majority of people.

Key Point:

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How Much Protein Do I Need

How much protein should you prescribe now that youve persuaded the skeptics that more is better? Currently, the FDA recommends 50 grams of protein per day for both men and women. This is a fairly broad guideline that isnt appropriate for people who are really busy.

More protein is required for persons who exercise, such as athletes and trainers, in order to develop muscle and help in recuperation. No studies demonstrate that 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is detrimental, while research in this area is still underway.

2 to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is a reasonable general recommendation for moderately to severely active customers. This suggests that for an athlete weighing 175 pounds , a daily protein intake of 160 to 240 grams is feasible, well beyond the FDAs recommended.

When assisting a client in determining how much protein to consume, bear in mind that too much protein can be detrimental to anybody who has renal illness or injury. A suggested intake for individuals with renal disease is around 0.6 grams per kilogram. 6

Chronic kidney disease, unfortunately, is characterized as a silent illness. Although symptoms are difficult to notice, you can have some easy tests done at your doctors office to see whether you have any kidney problems.

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Table 3 Effect Of Normal

* Percentage of difference between the sedentary and exercise groups was computed as /sedentary) × 100.

Percentage of white fat related to carcass.

Muscle weight was generally higher for the HP groups and especially for the training groups, with a more stable and strong effect after the second month.

Plasma cholesterol levels were lower for the HP groups compared with the NP groups , and the training groups v. the sedentary groups . There was a significant interaction between diet and training on the levels of plasma TAG, with a larger training-derived reduction of plasma TAG in the HP groups when compared with the NP groups . HDL-cholesterol levels were considerably lower in the HP groups when compared with the NP groups, whereas no differences were observed between the exercise and sedentary groups.

Dietary Protein And Renal Disease

Can Whey Protein Damage Your Kidneys

Allen and Cope’s observation that increased dietary protein induced renal hypertrophy in dogs led to speculation that dietary protein intake may have deleterious effects on the kidney. Later research in the rat model produced evidence supporting earlier observations from canine research . Recently, Hammond and Janes demonstrated an independent effect of increased protein intake on renal hypertrophy in mice. In this study, changes in renal function were observed.

Currently, a combination of hormonal interactions and renal processes are thought to explain protein-induced hyperfiltration . Increased glucagon secretion in response to protein administration induced hyperfiltration subsequent to a cascade of events referred to as the”pancreato-hepatorenal cascade” . It has been hypothesized that cAMP works in concert with glucagon to mediate GFR . To date, however, this hypothesis has not been tested and other competing hypotheses suggest other novel mechanisms of protein-induced hyperfiltration .

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Whey Protein And Kidney Health Concerns

Should you be concerned about using whey protein and kidney health? As many people try to lose weight and build muscle mass, they turn to whey protein as it is considered by many to be the best protein source. It is the choice of most body builders as it accelerates muscle development and aides in recovery. Visit any grocery or health food store and you will see shelves filled with a variety of different brands of whey protein powders.

On the other hand, Google whey protein and you will see warnings of concern for kidney health. As an example, I found the following, very conservative blog discussing possible concerns. Here is an excerpt:

In the same article it suggests that there is no need to worry about whey protein negatively affecting ones kidneys, unless kidney problems exist. As I scrolled a few more articles of the pros and cons of whey protein, I came upon another interesting article

Is Protein Hard For Your Kidneys

While no major studies link high protein intake to kidney disease in healthy people, excess protein does force your kidneys to work harder and can cause problems for people with existing medical conditions. Kidney disease aside, the healthiest diet is a varied one that contains a balance of nutrients.

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When Clients Ask Why Do I Need Protein Can You Answer

As a trainer, youve heard it all when it comes to protein. There are myths galore about protein, from too much is damaging to your body to the idea that protein isnt important unless youre a serious lifter. Lets take a closer look at the function and role of protein, controversial myths, and offer some tips on protein intake. Then, youll be able to answer the question, how much protein do I really need.

The Dangers Of Protein Supplements

Does High Protein Cause Kidney Damage or Stones  Clinical ...

Instead of helping, adding extra protein from supplements to your childs diet can cause long-term health problems, including:

  • Weight gain. Excess protein means excess calories. If a child cant burn the calories off, the body stores them as fat.
  • Organ damage. High protein levels can cause kidney stones and make the kidneys work harder to filter out waste products. A high-protein diet wears the kidneys out over time, and contributes to dehydration. Processing protein also creates nitrogen in the liver. High levels of nitrogen make it harder for the body to process waste and toxins. High levels of nitrogen also can decrease the bodys ability to break down nutrients.
  • Issues for children with weakened immune systems. Protein supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , Schnee says. Many products dont label all their ingredients, so you dont know exactly what your child is consuming. Many protein powders contain stimulants or substances that can take a toll on your childs digestive system.

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Dietary Protein And Renal Strain

Concerns about level of dietary protein and renal function are often presented in public health guidelines . In addition to the claims that high protein intake causes renal disease, some studies have suggested that renal function may be negatively affected by routine consumption of high protein diets . Although high protein diets cause changes in renal function and several related endocrine factors that may be harmful to individuals with renal disease , there is not sufficient research to extend these findings to healthy individuals with normal renal function at this time.

The lay public is often told that high protein diets “overwork” the kidney and may negatively impact renal function over time . In addition, a number of highly regarded organizations appear to support this line of reasoning given the physiological processes required for excretion of protein-related metabolic waste products to maintain homeostasis following consumption of protein at levels in excess of recommended amounts. Increased consumption of dietary protein is linearly related to the production of urea and urea excretion is controlled by the kidney. These processes are of significant energetic cost to the kidney and represent the physiological “strain” associated with increased protein intake .

Protein And Body Weight Reduction

Clients seeking weight loss frequently choose a low-carb, high-protein diet. When people are successful, they often believe that the lack of carbohydrates in their daily calories is the reason for their success. Meeting the proper protein needs, on the other hand, has two advantages. The first is that protein ingestion suppresses the appetite of the customer.

Protein calories take longer to break down than carbohydrate and fat calories. As a result, when clients consume a diet rich in high-quality proteins, they will feel fuller for longer. The term spontaneous reduction in calorie intake refers to this type of hunger decrease. All it implies for your customer is that they will feel satisfied for longer, making them less likely to eat and snack at inappropriate times.

Protein is required for the maintenance and increase of lean mass, as previously stated. Because muscle consumes more calories than fat to survive, clients with more muscular tissue have a greater resting metabolic rate. More calories are expended each day when your resting metabolic rate is greater. More calories burnt equals more weight lost, according to basic weight reduction principles. This is the second reason why daily protein consumption is critical for body fat loss.

You probably already know some of this, but youll need to be able to persuade your customers and anyone who seeks fitness and nutrition guidance from you. Explain why its critical to get enough high-quality protein:

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What Kinds Of Changes Will I Need To Make To My Diet

There is not one eating plan that is right for everyone with kidney disease. What you can or cannot eat may change over time, depending on how much kidney function you have and other factors. Also, if you are following a special diet for diabetes or heart conditions, you will need to continue to follow it as well.

People with kidney disease may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in their diet. If your kidney disease gets worse, you may need to limit other nutrients as well. Your dietitian or healthcare provider will tell you if you need to do this based on your blood test results.

Does Creatine Affect The Kidneys

Does A High Protein Diet Cause Kidney Damage or Stones (Clinical Evidence Included)

Now we come to creatine, one of the most widely used and also most researched dietary supplement. In the case of creatine too, we can say that it has effects on kidney function. There are both long-term and short-term studies that conclude that if creatine is taken with caution and proper recommended dosage there is no reason not to supplement creatine.

If creatine supplement is overdosed, abused or proper water intake is not maintained, it may damage kidneys temporarily, which inturn can be recovered with proper guidance and precautions.

Both protein and creatine does not damage kidneys as such. High protein and creatine consumption has been extensively researched and is not a problem at all for people with healthy kidneys. You should also make sure that you have enough fluids so that your kidneys are flushed well. If kidney problems have already arisen in close relatives, a doctors examination would be advisable before consumption.

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Risk Of Kidney Damage And Whey Protein

When increased amounts of whey protein are taken over an extended period of time, there is a risk of developing kidney disorders, including kidney stones. High protein diets rich in whey can be a health concern that may lead to possible impaired function of the kidneys. Consuming a high protein diet for weight loss stresses the kidneys, which are responsible for flushing wastes. Those who rely on this diet for an extended period are at a higher risk of developing kidney problems, kidney stones and in severe cases, kidney failure. However, there isn’t conclusive research that links excessive, long-term whey protein consumption with deteriorating kidney function. Regardless, many experts caution that there is a risk and encourage individuals to consume whey protein in moderation.

Does High Protein Diet Affect Kidneys

High-protein diets are common among people trying to lose weight and build body muscle. As your kidneys help to filter protein from waste products, a high-protein diet forces your kidneys to work harder than normal. This extra strain can harm impaired or diseased kidneys. However, high-protein diets do not negatively affect healthy kidneys.

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Dietary Protein And The Progression Of Renal Disease

Observational data from epidemiological studies provide evidence that dietary protein intake may be related to the progression of renal disease . In the Nurses’ Health Study, protein intake, assessed with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, was compared to the change in estimated GFR over an 11-year span in individuals with pre-existing renal disease . Regression analysis showed an association between increased consumption of animal protein and a decline in renal function suggesting that high total protein intake may accelerate renal disease leading to a progressive loss of renal capacity. However, no association between protein intake and change in GFR was found in a different cohort of 1,135 women with normal renal function .1.). The latter finding led the authors to conclude that there were no adverse effects of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy women with normal renal status.

This figure is a plot of multivariate linear regression for change in estimated GFR according to quintile of total protein intake* in participants with normal renal function . Data are taken from Knight et al., Ann Intern Med 2003 Mar 18 138:460-7 .


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