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Why Is Ketosis Hard On The Kidneys

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Is The Current Rise In Kidney Disease Due To Our Over-consumption Of Animal Source Foods?

I periodically get asked about concerns regarding the growing rates of kidney disease and concerns about kidney health in general in relation to a diet based in animal source foods. The worry is that consuming animal protein might somehow put a strain on kidneys and even lead to kidney damage over time. Here are the facts: In the United States, approximately one in three adults aged 65 years and older currently has chronic kidney disease. Certain mainstream sources are determined to find every which way to blame and further vilify animal source foods in this equation (and innumerable others), while extolling the supposed virtues of a plant-based diet. This is a pervasive misinformation trend, and one that I take on in my newest book, Primal Fat Burner. For starters, I don’t see the rise in kidney disease as necessarily being unrelated to the rise in metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the result of insulin resistance (which, in turn, is overwhelmingly the result of excess carbohydrate consumption—not fat or protein consumption). As my friend, Ron Rosedale, MD has aptly pointed out (and I’m paraphrasing somewhat), the development of obesity, in some respects, is technica Continue reading >>

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  1. Timothy

    I recently told my friend, a professor of medicine at a large university, about my six-week-old PB eating habits (now largely carnivorous). He advised me that it's not good to keep your body "carb-starved" and in ketosis all the time, and that eating so much protein strains the liver's ability to produce urea and the kidneys' ability to process and excrete it. The long-term effects can include liver and kidney damage, he said.
    I've heard something like this before, but it seems to run counter to the research on MDA as well as the experiences of real-life carnivores.
    Do you know anyone who has sustained kidney/liver damage from eating too much protein? Is Tarlach on course for renal failure? Or is this just CW run amok again?

  2. Athena

    1
    Ive heard it from bodybuilders who eat ungodly amounts of protein (mostly from powders) that they have kidney problems. I always heard as long as you keep hydrated your kidneys shouldnt have an issue, especially if u get your protein from meat sources. Although I can't back that up with anything other than broscience. Im interested to see some evidence though

  3. Prowler

    1
    Absolute bull.
    1. What is the incidence of liver or kidney damage among the Inuit practicing their traditional diet?
    2. What is the incidence of liver or kidney damage among the Masai practicing their traditional diet?
    3. The venerable Dr. Atkins himself used ketosis to treat thousands of patients at his clinic over the course of several decades, and he challenged anyone to show one case where ketosis caused kidney damage. Not one case has ever been documented.
    Case closed. Ketosis is a safe and natural state, and any speculation about potential harm is just that: pure unfounded speculation.

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Can A Ketogenic Diet Repair Damaged Kidneys?

Doing some research for another subject we will be talking about on this blog very soon, I cam across a very interesting paper from 2011 titled, Reversal of Diabetic Nephropathy by a Ketogenic Diet. What the paper shows was a group of mice were given both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, then half the mice were switched to a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks the mice were dissected to determine what happened and here are the results the paper showed. Diabetic nephropathy, as indicated by albumin/creatinine ratios as well as expression of stress-induced genes, was completely reversed by 2 months maintenance on a ketogenic diet. However, histological evidence of nephropathy was only partly reversed. What this means is that the blood markers for kidney disease were completely reversed but the actual kidneys themselves still showed evidence of the damaged caused by the poor diet, but there was still some improvement. I would assume that staying on the ketogenic diet for longer than 8 weeks would show further improvement but no actual evidence of this was presented in this paper. Although more research is definitely needed, especially to see just how advanced kidney damage can be unt Continue reading >>

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  1. Timothy

    I recently told my friend, a professor of medicine at a large university, about my six-week-old PB eating habits (now largely carnivorous). He advised me that it's not good to keep your body "carb-starved" and in ketosis all the time, and that eating so much protein strains the liver's ability to produce urea and the kidneys' ability to process and excrete it. The long-term effects can include liver and kidney damage, he said.
    I've heard something like this before, but it seems to run counter to the research on MDA as well as the experiences of real-life carnivores.
    Do you know anyone who has sustained kidney/liver damage from eating too much protein? Is Tarlach on course for renal failure? Or is this just CW run amok again?

  2. Athena

    1
    Ive heard it from bodybuilders who eat ungodly amounts of protein (mostly from powders) that they have kidney problems. I always heard as long as you keep hydrated your kidneys shouldnt have an issue, especially if u get your protein from meat sources. Although I can't back that up with anything other than broscience. Im interested to see some evidence though

  3. Prowler

    1
    Absolute bull.
    1. What is the incidence of liver or kidney damage among the Inuit practicing their traditional diet?
    2. What is the incidence of liver or kidney damage among the Masai practicing their traditional diet?
    3. The venerable Dr. Atkins himself used ketosis to treat thousands of patients at his clinic over the course of several decades, and he challenged anyone to show one case where ketosis caused kidney damage. Not one case has ever been documented.
    Case closed. Ketosis is a safe and natural state, and any speculation about potential harm is just that: pure unfounded speculation.

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Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Kidney Stones?

I remember the first time I learned about the connection between a diet high in sugar and gout, kidney stones and heart disease. I was reading a book (I don’t remember which one) that was laying out the evidence that showed a clear link between sugar consumption and those diseases and it immediately peaked my interest because I didn’t know that gout was still a thing. I had only heard of old French monarchs having it and honestly didn’t know it was still around until just a few weeks before reading that book. Just a few weeks prior to reading that, I learned that my son’s Father in Law had gout and occasional kidney stones and as I read that passage in the book, I thought about calling him and telling him what I read. I decided against it and figured I would bring it up the next time I saw him at church. Unfortunately, before I ever got a chance to say anything to him, he had a heart attack. He’s fine now but I have always felt bad I didn’t immediately make a call. I realize it wouldn’t have done much given how quickly it all happened but still, I should have said something. Since then, probably the most common question I get about the ketogenic diet is whether or not Continue reading >>

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  1. z90xhccs

    So I was about to send this to Mark until I realized that I should probably post it on here first, hence why it goes from being addressed to mark to being address to "y'all."
    Hey Mark!
    A few weeks back I discovered De. Eades blog and started trying out a low carb diet, and more recently I discovered your blog and have been experimenting with the primal fitness plan.
    Needless to say, I have been subject to A LOT of new information in the past month or so. Here is the thing, I am a nutrition student studying to become a dietitian and my nutrition teacher, who is a biochemistry major, assured me that, if your body is in a state of ketosis for too long, kidney damage WILL ensue due to the high pH of ketones. Of course, after reading all the information I had, I was pretty sure this wasn't true. I set out on a quest to find studies demonstrating that ketosis wasn't harmful to the kidneys.
    Unfortunately, no luck. Every single study and article I have come across talk about high protein, not ketosis specifically. Can y'all help me out?
    Thanks!
    -Zach

  2. Dragonfly

    Your teacher is confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis.

  3. primalrob

    zach...you need to ready mark's post from today. it covers almost this exact situation that someone else had to deal with.
    check this out
    long story short...ketosis is just fine.

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