Protein Recommendations and Kidney Function

I see that you advocate higher intakes of proteins, but what about renal function? In the ADA Position I read:

“Long-term high intakes of dietary protein (above 0.6 g/kg/day for a person with kidney disease not undergoing dialysis or above the Dietary Reference Intake for protein of 0.8 g/kg/ day for people with normal kidney function) from either animal or vegetables sources, may worsen existing chronic kidney disease or cause renal injury in those with normal renal function (185)”.

This is the reference:


This is a legitimate concern.

Someone with kidney disease should be careful about protein intake. My recommendations for protein (Table 1 in the article Protein) are generally lower than what the population normally consumes, though higher than what many vegans might consume, and should be safe for someone without kidney problems, especially since some studies have shown vegetable protein to be less harmful than animal protein.

My recommendations for older people are a range from .8 to 1.3 g/kg/day. If someone has kidney disease, they might want to stick to the lower end of the range, or even lower than that if indicated during monitoring by their physician. And vegans should focus on high lysine protein foods to make sure they get enough of the amino acid lysine.

Leave a Reply