A recent study has concluded that high-protein, low-carb diets may not cause any damage to kidneys. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine compared the effects of such a diet to that of a standard low-fat diet in 307 obese people who did not suffer from kidney disease or other chronic illnesses. After a two-year period, they found that the high-protein, low-carb diet didn’t cause noticeable harmful effects on healthy obese patients’ kidney function compared to obese people who followed a low-fat diet.
For many years, experts believed that low-carb, high protein diets were causing kidney damage in healthy people and this new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology shows good signs that this theory was not fully accurate. Protein in the blood contributes to important protective benefits to the body, including fighting infections, blood clots and improving circulation in the body. Normally proteins are too big to pass through the kidneys’ filter into the urine, but proteins from the blood can leak into the urine when kidney filters are damaged.
Abnormal amounts of protein in the urine, known as proteinuria, usually point to some sort of kidney disease, regardless of diet. However, researchers found that the most important way to reduce protein in urine did not have to do with the type of diet but it was related to the actual amount of weight lost.
The results are relevant to the millions of healthy obese adults who use dieting as a weight-loss strategy, researchers noted. More than one-third of American adults are obese, according to the CDC.