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Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(6):836-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510004393. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Effects of high-whey-protein intake and resistance training on renal, bone and metabolic parameters in rats.

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Department of Physiology, School of Pharmacy and Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Granada, Campus Universitario de Cartuja s/n, Granada 18071, Spain.


Consumption of high-protein (HP) diets is postulated to exert a negative influence on bone and renal health. However, no conclusive evidence has been presented related to this issue or to the potential protective action of resistance training on HP-induced systemic effects. We examined the effects of HP diet consumption on food intake, body-weight gain, body composition, and renal, bone and metabolic parameters of rats performing resistance training. A total of ninety-six adult male Wistar rats were randomly distributed in twelve experimental groups (n 8): normal-protein (10%) or HP (45%) diets, with or without resistance training, killed for experimental periods of 1, 2 or 3 months. Diets were based on a commercial whey protein hydrolysate. Consumption of HP diets and resistance training significantly affected food intake, body weight and body composition, as well as the plasma levels of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and TAG. The buffering action of resistance training on such diet-induced alterations was especially evident in the levels of plasma TAG. Consumption of HP diets led to a considerable increase in kidney weight, urinary volume and acidity, as well as in the urinary excretion of Ca, with a parallel reduction in the urinary excretion of citrate (P < 0·05). No apparent deleterious effect on bone mineral content was found. In conclusion, consumption of HP diets caused alterations in renal health status and some metabolic parameters, but did not seem to affect bone status. Resistance training had a protective action against alterations of renal health status and some metabolic parameters such as plasma TAG.

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