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High-Protein Diet Is Risky Without Fruits And Vegetables

January 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Spanish study in rats shows that high-protein diets, like Dukan and Atkins, boost the risk of developing kidney problems, unless supplemented with fruits and vegetables. Animals on a high-protein diet lost as much as 10 percent of their body weight over the 12-week study, but the protein had a negative effect on kidney structure, a signal of an increased risk of kidney disease and serious pathologies like calcium kidney stones. High protein foods drastically reduce urinary citrate, an inhibitor of calcium salt crystallization and urinary pH. The researchers noted, however, that fruits and vegetables added to the diet reduce the risk of kidney stones forming. Why? Potassium and magnesium compensate for the acidity of the high-protein diet.
Aparicio VA et al., "High-protein diets and renal status in rats", Nutricion Hospitalaria, January 29, 2014, © Nutricion Hospitalaria
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