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J Nutr. 1991 Nov;121(11 Suppl):S128-39. doi: 10.1093/jn/121.suppl_11.S128.

Influence of dietary protein on renal function in dogs.

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School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.


Two previously published studies in dogs with reduced renal function are reviewed. In the first study, renal function and biochemical responses to dietary changes were studied in four dogs with stable chronic renal failure. The objective was to determine if dogs with moderate stable failure adjust to diets with varied protein and electrolyte content. These dogs were found to have the capacity to adapt to a wide range of dietary protein and electrolyte intake. The only exception was found in dogs fed a reduced-protein diet, which failed to appropriately adjust renal tubular excretion of sodium and phosphate. The only advantage of reduced dietary protein in this study was a reduction in blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Disadvantages of reduced-protein diets were reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal plasma flow. In the second study, the hypothesis that large amounts of dietary protein sustain renal hyperfunction and produce progressive glomerulosclerosis in dogs as previously reported in rats was tested. Results failed to find a pattern of deterioration of renal function over 4 y. Light microscopic changes and electron microscopy also failed to find glomerular injury similar to that reported in rodents. These results do not support the hypothesis that feeding a high protein diet had a significant adverse effect on renal function or morphology.

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