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Home > Learn about kidney disease > Chronic Kidney Disease > CKD Diet >

How Much Protein Can You Take As a Kidney Disease Patient

2015-01-27 17:32

How much protein can you take as a kidney disease patient ? Diet has a huge influence on the kidneys’ function. The constituents of the food we eat; everything from sodium, to protein, to sugars, impact kidney function in health and disease.

Food ingredients like protein, if eaten in excess, can increase the pressure inside the kidneys’ filter called the glomerulus. The increase is referred to as "intraglomerular hypertension". This in turn increases the kidneys’ filtration rate, called the GFR, and the phenomenon is called “adaptive hyperfiltration”. How excess protein causes this to occur is not fully understood but there are certain hypotheses out there. One of them is that excess protein could increase the reabsorption of sodium by the kidney. Other explanations include the explanation that excess protein could increase the production of certain chemicals that are harmful to the kidneys, and cause scar tissue to form in the kidneys. These chemical include something called "insulin like growth factor", and "renal kinins", among others. These are some of the reasons a low protein diet is believed to be good for people with kidney disease.

How much protein can you take as a kidney disease patient ?

For most people with kidney disease, this implies a diet that has about 0.8 grams of protein for every kilo of their body weight. In other words, if you are 70 kilos, you need about 56 grams of high-quality daily protein.

Note that mentioned "high-quality" in the above paragraph. What does that exactly mean? Well, in nature, protein comes packaged with other ingredients, one of which is phosphorus. Excess phosphorus can become a problem in kidney disease and can be associated with bone disease . So you would want to eat protein from sources that have a high ratio of protein to the phosphorus content.

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