T Nation

Protein and Kidney Stones

I just read an article on msnbc which says that protein and salt are the two leading contributors to the development of kidney stones. They actually suggest a low protein diet to prevent them. If this study is suggesting that the average person should cut back on protein, what does that mean for bodybuilders who consume 300+ grams of protein a day? Am I tripling my chances of getting kidney stones? I usually don’t pay attention to these types of things, but that is one experience that I would like to avoid!

The news is not out to promote our health or safety. The news is about sensationalizing everything. Reporters often do not know the first thing about nutrition or exercise and the people they consult are physicians who often don’t know much either. If you want to get real answers, go to medline and search for journal articles about the topic or even use the search engine here. This topic has been covered. If you have healthy kidneys, protein intake does not really matter. If you have a degenerative kidney disease, then it could possibly be a problem.

Of course your risk will be higher unless you drink more water! This is a simple and almost magical prevention protocol.

If you are reading this forum, chances are you are not average with regard to your health. The “average” person in this country is very sedentary and the trend is constantly moving toward inactive lifestyles. My guess would be that this is good advice for the average couch potato whose diet is overly contaminated with excess sodium, sugar, and saturated fats. If you are considering lowering protein intake based on this article and you still plan to gain any measurable amount of strength or muscle tissue, I think you will be disappointed with your results. My guess would be that the writer(s) of the article are suggesting lower protein intake because the type of protein that an average person eats is high in Saturated Fat and other additives that contribute to poor health. The average person isn’t eating high quality meats or Advanced Protein. I wouldn’t be concerned about high protein intake unless you have a pre-existing health condition that makes you susceptible to kidney stones.