T Nation

Am I Dying?

Listen to this - a old friend of mine is a kidney doctor and he has informed me that I am digging my own grave. I told him that I’ve been consuming 350-400g Protein a day for several years now. He has suggested that at my size my daily intake should be no more than 170g. I weigh about 245 with around 10%BF. He says burn victims and severely injured patients get at the most 250g P a day. I thought I was doing what is best to help/enhance my musculature. Please - ANYONE - what is safe and sound. I do want to live for at least another 40 years (I’m 43). He said guys like me are only going to end being the best looking people in the morgue.

Read Cy Willson’s articles. Also, remember that this “high protein causes kidney problems” myth started back in the 50’s or 60’s when doctors put people who already had kidney disease on a high protein diet. Of course, they had trouble! No shit! If you don’t have kidney disease, there’s not a problem. Your doc is either old and out of touch or ignorant- or both. If in doubt, drink more water just in case.

My brother is a kidney doctor, very well respected in his field (he just presented a paper in Brazil at a huge conference and was the youngest doc there by 10 years), and he said nobody has ever shown link between high protein diets and kidney probs. He doubts there is a link, but he doesn’t completely rule it out. He wouldn’t recommend a high protein diet, but he also feels at this point there is no real reason to believe it is any more dangerous than a moderate protein diet.

i’ve never seen a scientific article that states that high protein levels are harmful. but, 400 grams seems a bit excessive for a 245 pounder.

Pete, I don’t think that 400 grms. is excessive at 245 lbs. As far as bodybuilding goes it’s right in the ballpark, as far as ideal for health, well that’s the whole debate. I’d say lots of water, maybe some cranberry pills or something if your especially concerned.

check out this page. http://www.testosterone.net/html/119prot.html

it talks about the “bulgarian” study where they consumed 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein for “really intensely trained” individuals. i would guess most of these atheletes were also lower than 10% bf. also need to calculate grams of protein per lean body weight.
others in the roundtable suggested a lower amount of protein per pound.

important question is how intensely and long does he trian.

Hi John. Why don’t you get your regular doctor to test your kidney function? I’m no expert about this, but I would assume that this would include a regular urinalysis and possibile ultra-sound/x-rays to check for renal calculi/stones. That way, you’d know for sure. If there’s nothing wrong with them, then eat anything you like. If this continues to concern you, get your kidney function tested every so often.

Assuming he is at 10% bf or a hair above, 1.8grms per lb of lbm puts us at 396 grms. of protein, right at what he is currently consuming. If you choose to go a bit lower I think it is fair enough but how much would you lower it and still find effective for building muscle? Would it be all that much safer? I agree his activity level is important but unless he is well over 6 ft, I’d guess he is doing something to get to his current status. I still think that 400 is reasonable maybe not 100% necessary but reasonable none the less.

i have done some research on this in school and the problems cancome from the dehydration of a high protein diet. stones, gout, and dehydration can be found in pts after a lengthy time on this type of diet. the key word in this diet is water. if you stay well hydrated and have no pre-existing kidney abnormality, you will not have a problem with health related issues. upon cessation of the diet, or lengthy period of fewer grams of protein, your body has become adjusted to that high amount and may resort to consumption of lean mass.