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Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21;37:347-369. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071714-034426. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

Long-Term Effects of High-Protein Diets on Renal Function.

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Department of Nephrology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; email:
Department of Nephrology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, 2730 Copenhagen, Denmark; email:


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has a prevalence of approximately 13% and is most frequently caused by diabetes and hypertension. In population studies, CKD etiology is often uncertain. Some experimental and observational human studies have suggested that high-protein intake may increase CKD progression and even cause CKD in healthy people. The protein source may be important. Daily red meat consumption over years may increase CKD risk, whereas white meat and dairy proteins appear to have no such effect, and fruit and vegetable proteins may be renal protective. Few randomized trials exist with an observation time greater than 6 months, and most of these were conducted in patients with preexisting diseases that dispose to CKD. Results conflict and do not allow any conclusion about kidney-damaging effects of long-term, high-protein intake. Until additional data become available, present knowledge seems to substantiate a concern. Screening for CKD should be considered before and during long-term, high-protein intake.


chronic kidney disease; protein intake

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