How does excess protein consumption through food as well as through supplements affect body especially kidneys? Why it is advice to consume low protein diet during summer ?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you done any research? A quick search on google scholar for "protein intake kidney" gives several articles describing possible connections to increased phosphate and urea levels on high protein diets, which could affect kidney function. $\endgroup$
    – Roland
    Mar 25, 2017 at 10:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Roland I have and while some say that it affects kidney negatively while other says it has no effect. moreover why not consume protein rich food in summer. aren't our kidney made to this work to excrete urea and phosphate, i drink more water and kidney remove poison, shouldnt kidney adapt to new levels $\endgroup$
    – murmansk
    Mar 25, 2017 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ Great question... I have heard several nephrologists mention that there is very little hard evidence that would suggest that protein consumption should be decreased in renal failure (sounds like mostly animal studies with exceedingly high protein diets - nothing that would be done clinically). I hope this question get some attention... it would be interesting to see the state of this question. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2017 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Short answer

The ammonia resultant from the protein metabolism is toxic to the body and specially kidney. (William V. et al.)

Long answer

Protein is a poly-peptide composed by amino acids. Each amino acid has an amine group (-NH2) in its composition. In the metabolism of the amino acids, this amine group is taken, and if it isn't needed is released the to blood vessels to be transported to the liver and be turned to urea. Needless to say since the kidney filters the blood when there is excess of ammonia in the blood vessels the kidney is the first to suffer.

I've found some papers about the effect of ammonia in the kidney but none of them where about humans. (I may try to fetch some of them later.)

Why summer? During summer water is lost through perspiration so there's less available for the excretion of urea. I hope it helps.


1.William V. McDermott, Jr., M.D. ,Metabolism and Toxicity of Ammonia

  • $\begingroup$ In the why summer part, may be u intended to write perspiration instead of transpiration. I think now u will be eligible to vote, just need to reach 150 $\endgroup$
    – Mesentery
    Mar 26, 2017 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Mesentery Thanks for the correction! English isn't my main language and sometimes I make some strange mistakes! And I'll be very happy to be able to participate and vote =D $\endgroup$
    – Kiny
    Mar 26, 2017 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ so if one drinks plenty of water, kidney will do its job just fine, and rest of body will heal quickly with more protein? $\endgroup$
    – murmansk
    Mar 26, 2017 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ I would assume so if the consume of protein isn't extremely excessive. I don't know where you live but there has been deaths for protein only diets. Of course that includes eating only proteins day in and day out. If your interested i would suggest this link. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning $\endgroup$
    – Kiny
    Mar 26, 2017 at 16:55

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