The Truth About Protein Intake and Kidney Health

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Are you wondering if a high-protein diet can damage your kidneys? Research has confirmed certain risks, yet there’s also evidence that consuming a moderate amount of protein can be beneficial for kidney health and overall health. Here is the truth about protein intake and kidney health.

What is Protein?

Protein is an essential macronutrient found in foods like meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, legumes, and grains. It helps build and maintain muscles, bones, organs, and skin, and creates enzymes and hormones. In addition to its physical benefits, protein also helps you stay fuller longer and can make the body more insulin-sensitive.

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High Protein Diet and Kidney Health

There is some evidence that high-protein diets may impair kidney function. A 2017 study investigated the kidney health of participants who followed high-protein diets and found that this eating pattern was associated with impaired kidney function in healthy adults.

It is important to note that this study only found an association between high-protein diets and impaired kidney function, meaning that more research is needed to establish causation. Additionally, the study did not definitively determine which type of protein source had the strongest link to renal impairment.

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Protein Intake and Overall Health

Although high-protein diets can be potentially linked to impaired kidney function, moderate protein intake can be beneficial to overall health. Studies have linked increased protein intake with a lower risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Additionally, research has found that consuming more protein can help with weight loss and improving body composition.

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Generally, it is recommended that healthy adults consume 0.8-1g of protein/kg of body weight per day. Getting enough protein each day can ensure you are getting the essential amino acids and other vitamins and minerals that your body needs.


Overall, consuming a moderate amount of protein each day is beneficial for kidney health and overall health. However, eating too much protein may put a strain on your kidneys and negatively affect your health. Talk to your healthcare provider for an individualized recommendation for your daily protein intake.