Metabolic Cost of Excess Dietary Protein

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.

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.

To Be Continued…