High Protein Diets: Are They Safe For Kidneys, Liver And Heart? (Latest Research)

Is eating a high protein diet safe for your kidneys, liver and heart? Here’s what the latest research has to say on the topic.

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Research on high protein diets and safety:

Latest one from Jose Antonio: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2016/9104792/

Previous studies:

Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition – World Health Organization Report http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/WHO_TRS_935/en/

Practical Implications:

There’s been a decent amount of research on high protein intakes and so far what we can say is that: In the context that you have healthy kidneys, liver and heart there’s no negative health effects from a higher protein intake in your diet.

Moreover, high protein diets don’t cause damage to kidneys, liver or heart in healthy individuals.

Latest research from Jose Antonio and his team has shown that over a year long period even going up to 3.3 grams per kg in daily protein intake is completely fine.

It’s great to have such a long study looking at active individuals and athletes as these are the populations that will most likely aim for a higher protein intake.

Sadly, there’s still a lot of myths out there and a lot of sources claiming that high protein diets are harmful for health. Individuals claiming that high protein diets are harmful for health often quote observational research and fall into the trap of a confirmation bias through weak correlations present in this research.

Claims that high protein diets cause damaging health effects are not supported by the current body of evidence looking at the randomized controlled trials we have available.

If you’re someone who has health issues related to kidneys and impaired renal function it’s a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian about your protein intake.

However, in the context that you’re a healthy individual following a healthy diet plan there’s no evidence suggesting that you should worry about increasing your protein intake.

As a general recommendation, anywhere in the range of 2-3 grams per kg of Fat Free Mass or about 1 – 1.2 grams per lbs of FFM in protein per day is a good target to aim at if you’re interested in maximizing muscle growth and lean muscle retention.

If you’re looking to get getting shredded one of the best sources for protein intake is the review by Eric Helms over at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765

Final note: If your goal is to build muscle it’s a good idea to base the majority of your protein intake on high quality sources rich in the amino acid leucine.

A good target to aim at is a minimum of 25-30 grams of high quality protein per serving which would yield about 2-3 grams of leucine.

For those on a plant-based diet a great source of leucine is powdered pea protein.

As always, post your questions in the comments below.

Talk soon, Mario

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20 thoughts on “High Protein Diets: Are They Safe For Kidneys, Liver And Heart? (Latest Research)

  1. It depends… On your age and goal and your general health. If you young person with high metabolism you can jump on high protein Atkins diet in order to shred your six pack… Or you can do hardcore keto… But if you are middle age overweight woman insuline resistant who desperately want to loose weight, better for you and safer will be keto diet. There some rules and principles… Body can absorb only certain amount proteins, so if you eat to mutch proteins it will trigger insuline and convert it into fat. So if you want loose weight ( if that is your diet reason) it's not good solution. That is why for healthly weight loose better is ketogenic diet with 85%fat, 5 % carbs and 10%protein.

  2. Hey Mario, do you have any tips on tracking protein? 
    Should i go by cooked weight because i usually boil frozen chicken thighs and i just weigh it frozen and go by the nutrition label on the bag. 
    But when i look up the cooked weight online, it says i'm consuming much less protein.

  3. "If you're looking for something to be concerned about, you're going to have a hard time finding the research to back that up." So much truth to that statement. I think a lot of people (when researching), try to find evidence to reinforce their preconceived notions about something rather than being unbiased and balanced in their research. Nice little nugget of truth there from Mario!

  4. This video is like a gift from heavens because I know that you are clean and I can trust you. Let's debate..

    I'm confused so long about protein and I've tried all ratios, caloric intakes etc.One thing was constant – low protein. Why? We can talk about that more than hour. I will try to express quickly.

    In past I've tried paleo diet and I've found that I'm sick and look like crap. Means not healthy skin nor hairs. Maybe good gains but not very atractive man. Then I switched to a vegan diet.
    My body detoxified so fast on that diet that I couldn't almost believe. My skin was good looking. Also nice hair. Not fat anymore. Feeling more energy. But after a while I noticed something bad. My physique wasn't as good. Maybe more cleansed but weaker I've been.
    As a response I started to eat again meats and dairy but state of my skin and hair was getting down and I also started to experience tiredness after a meal. It must have been caused by meat because I have been eating starch on Vegan diet with no problems. Also I've noticed that acne came back. I looked more older again. Little fat came also. Then my conclusion that time was like a.. What if I eat low quality of protein? Nope, I was eating biological quality (140g daily / approx 40g of protein per meal). I couldn't understand what the hack.
    After a while I did some research about protein and I've found that acne is caused by toxins. Your body tries to get rid of them thru your skin. So basicly with meat came back acne -> Conclusion? Meats are not healthy because they will cause acne. Meat also acidify your body and you body must remove calcium from bones and other minerals to neutralize acidity. Even if you will drink lemons and green teas all day long it wouldn't make so much difference if you still on meat diet.

    How can you be healthy with eating high protein diet?

    I'm health aware individual and I eat veggie, fruits, whole food starches no junk and still something Is wrong. Maybe I must accept the fact that my body need more proteins and deal with acne and old look. I cant see any other way. I think that humanity had been eating some foods in history and those foods kept them healthy but foods avalible now can't force our PH levels to health. I mean.. you can't buy any strong vegetable in grocerystores that could turn that acidity. Markets dont sell quality not even farmers. Told you that we are missing some kind of roots or sprouts etc. I cant see almost none healthy individuals in my country. Very rare that somebody looks naturaly beatiful and strong and clean eating!

    Truth about protein: (scientifically approved facts that 60g of protein a day for bodybuilders is enough!!)


    There are more brainwash videos that tell you that you will be fine with 70g a day.

    What is your experience with acidity and can you tell me more about yourself.. like how did you started dieting and why? Why you think that high protein is really so healthy in your opinion – not scientific facts? Did you've tried veganism? How you feel at high protein diet?

    Thank you very very much for your reaction dude! 🙂

  5. Hey, I have a problem with farting when I eat a lot of protein, is there any hack to prevent it? It's an issue if I am with my GF 🙂

  6. A lot of the protein people get from junk food is from soy protein, which is added to make it cheap. That is actually harmful, but not for your kidneys and it's not the protein, but the source.From my understanding, high protein diets only affect your kidney function if you already have kidney disease.

  7. 40/30/30 split is what I usually aim for calorie distribution. Is it a good distribution? Video on this topic would be awesome 🙂

  8. protein and fat are interchangeable (depending on meat, eggs, dairy etc). but tbh a high protein diet helps me keep to a diet, all down to personal preference – i personally bloat, water retention, hungry sooner when i lower my protein / up the carbs.

  9. Great video Mario, I often have this discussion whether a high proteine diet is bad for your health or not. This is the same as; you need to eat six times a day in order to burn fat or gain muscle. It's just a hype and there is no research to back that up. Same as this one.

  10. Dr. Ron Rosedale has a peer reviewed published paper were he states high protein is not good….just fyi

  11. I love the sincerity of this channel. unlike athlean X or six pack short cuts, this guy gives great, friend to friend advice not driven by trying to market his own brand or product.

  12. High protein diets have a bad reputation cause ther're diets that just eat protein and cause muscle breakdown. You need a large amount of prorein but you need to have have all macros and micros

  13. i bought whey protein (chocolate) flavor, but ot doesn't even taste that. its full of processed flavors so it does taste shit for real. Idk should i even buy whey because (fake) flavors.

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