No, protein powder is not bad for your kidneys. I have to watch my oxalate due to calcium kidney stones, and have successfully done so for the past few years – along with a couple other changes. If your kidneys have been damaged, even normal amounts of protein are harmful. Connect by text or video with a U.S. board-certified doctor now — wait time is less than 1 minute! Avocados. “They can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, and death in patients with kidney disease.”. Nutrilite protein powder side effects. Vegan Protein. How Does Protein Intake Affect Kidney Stone Formation? Why? Either way, you’re probably not getting that from vegan protein powder alone, as long as you’re not having several (literally) servings per day. One hypothesis is that the consumption of plant proteins lowers the production of uremic toxins. When the kidneys are damaged and unable to process the protein, it slips through the cracks in to the urine. Vegan protein powder is relatively low in oxalate content, so that’s not a concern either. In fact, evidence seems to suggest that vegans in general have lower risk of kidney stones if anything. If the kidney disease is not diagnosed on time, it may aggravate to the point where dialysis or a kidney transplant become necessary. As a patient with kidney disease, it is important to see your dietitian or physician before starting a green pea protein powder. If you’re interested in finding a good vegan protein powder at this point, take a look at our guide to the top plant-based protein powders. Some claim that too much whey protein can damage the … Yes. Get the free app for Doctors. Research has shown that putting subjects on a low carbohydrate, high protein diet (mostly animal protein), increases the risk of kidney stones significantly (2). A kidney stone is a solid mass that can be excreted from the kidney – that’s not supposed to happen. Some research claims too much protein can increase kidney stones, while others show no connection. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which … “But I’ve eaten animal proteins all my life and never got kidney stones.”. But the stone itself can be made of a variety of material, and in different combinations. To be as brief as possible, I’ve only focused on the parts potentially related to vegan protein powders. Let me try to sum up what we went over, because it was a lot: Of all the many potential causes of kidney stones, vegan protein powder can really only be involved in 2 of them:... High protein intake (really high) can cause kidney stones, whether it’s … This is assuming the oxalate content of hemp protein is similar to the oxalate content of hemp seeds (73.6 mg/100g). While eating animal protein was previously associated with a negative health effect on these patients, a new study shows that eating plant proteins can actually improve their health – and lower their mortality rate. How to use Vegan Protein Powder. Unless you’re drinking several protein shakes a day, I think it’s fair to say that vegan protein powders won’t cause kidney stones based on protein intake alone. A High Protein Diet Has No Harmful Effects: A One-Year Crossover Study in Resistance-Trained Males (2016) Made from turkey or lean beef, both of these protein sources give you iron to help prevent … Follow her on Twitter @LibbyMitchellUT. Protein intake can increase the risk of kidney stones, but only if fairly high. Also you can get your protein from diet, not supplements. In most cases, animal proteins are composed of amino acids that are later broken down into acids, while plant proteins are broken down into bases (the opposite of acidic). Is protein powder bad for your liver or kidneys. Get the free app for Members. Avocados are often touted for their many nutritious qualities, including their heart-healthy … Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. Protein powder causes kidney damage: Researchers have debunked this myth proving that there is simply no evidence related to high protein-based diets (such as consuming too much protein powder) and kidney damage. The high protein diet consisted of 1.5gms of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (per day), at least 20% of total caloric intake coming from protein or at least 100gms of protein per day. If your kidneys are not healthy, this ability reduces and protein waste builds up in your blood. It typically means that there’s insufficient liquid, or that your body isn’t using the solids as it’s supposed to (think absorbing minerals like calcium). Protein powder can only potentially affect protein intake and oxalate intake. There are also some supplements that can interfere with medication, such as echinacea, garlic, ginger, and St. John's Wort. Get weekly emails of the latest news from HealthFeed. Most vegan protein powder is relatively low in oxalate. “In animal protein sources the absorption rate of phosphorus is higher,” says co-author Xiaorui Chen, MS, a graduate research assistant at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Vegan protein powders are used just like any other type of protein. The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. Naked Pea Protein. If I had to give you a yes or no answer, I’d say that no, vegan protein powder does not cause kidney stones, especially for most vegan powders. Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure and – as you age – a diet containing large amounts of protein. from 90 to 180 grams per day) while reducing carbohydrate intake. They can be mixed up in a shake for a pre or post workout, blended with fruit and greens for a snack or meal replacement, or used in cooking. The bad news though, is that in large amounts, protein powder may harm your kidneys. “However, in plant proteins there is a low bioavailability of phosphorus, so a diet high in plant protein for patients with CKD may also lower body phosphorus burden.”, More research still needs to be done on improving the lives of patients with CKD. Protein supplements, especially protein powder, can be helpful for people who are not getting enough protein from their diet. Then we can break it down further, because there are 6 main aspects of the diet that can affect kidney stone formation: When we think about protein powder, most of those don’t apply. Caffeine in whey protein powders. Vega Sport Protein Bar Review: Which Vega Bar is Best? Vegan Protein Powder and Gas: The Cause and How to Fix It. Across the different types of kidney stones, there are several different causes, including (1): We’re only interested in 1 here – dietary. Thankfully, in a recent study done by the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that eating a vegan diet could improve kidney function. Some research claims too much protein can increase kidney stones, while others show no connection. Another explanation deals with the levels of phosphorus in the body. Pick your protein Is Protein Powder bad for your kidneys? The research generally shows that unless your total oxalate intake is greater than 300mg, and you have a reasonable calcium intake, you’re not at a higher risk of kidney stone formation. Due to the excess amount of protein you ingest with protein powder, you may be overworking your kidneys, causing strain and damage. We all need 50gms of protein daily with heavy weight training, a boost may be needed for that day. Protein is used to build muscle, heal, fight infection, and stay healthy. This is the big reason that people are often skeptical of vegan protein powders. Again, I’m not a medical professional of any kind, just a vegan who likes to research topics like this. Hemp is actually reasonably high in oxalate (. Plant protein doesn’t trigger this response and has been recommended over animal protein for people at risk of or suffering from kidney disease for many years (10, 11). But despite its many health benefits, there’s some controversy surrounding its safety. Are You Saying That Animal Protein Causes Kidney Stones? Phosphorous is found in dairy, beans and nuts, all healthy protein choices, but too much can cause bone density loss for kidney patients. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients should consider adding more plant-based proteins such as beans and tofu to their diet. If you’re interested in this topic because of serious kidney stone issues that you’ve had in the past, be smart and talk about this with a doctor. Balanced diets containing moderate amounts of either beef or plant protein are equally effective in reducing calcium oxalate kidney stone risk based on changes in urinary composition. That being said, doctors typically recommend that those with a history of kidney stones aim for a lower amount (usually 50 to 100mg). Not only are acidic conditions a common kidney stone formation requirement, but a high acid load is difficult for kidney’s to handle, which could impede their functionality. Let me try to sum up what we went over, because it was a lot: Bottom line: If you’re eating a reasonable amount of protein, having a portion of that come from vegan protein shakes won’t significantly increase your risk of kidney stone formation. The next question for us is what’s vegan protein mostly made of? Copyright © 2020 University of Utah Health, For All U of U Health Patients & Visitors, DNV GL Public Information Policy Statement. Very generally, depending on individual ability and needs, 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended per day. There is no existing evidence that too much protein can damage kidney function in adults. Kidneys filter wastes created by the foods you eat to help to keep the right balance of nutrients and minerals in your blood and in your body. Short-term studies have indicated that substituting plant protein, like soy, for animal protein is associated with less hyperfiltration and protein leakage, therefore, slowing deterioration of kidney function. Author: High protein consumption does affect the normal functioning of kidneys by raising the blood pressure within them. I believe nutritionfacts.org has some videos on this - or McDougall has talked about that too. Generally I have no trouble with whey or dairy in general, but I’d probably be mixing the plant-based powder in milk. Oxalate is found in a lot of different foods. At low-medium amounts of protein, the science shows that there is no significant risk difference between plant and animal protein sources (5). Conclusion: Vegan Protein Powder Likely Doesn’t Affect Kidney Stone Risk, total oxalate intake is greater than 300mg, vegans in general have lower risk of kidney stones, Iron Vegan Athlete’s Blend Protein Powder Review. Protein supplements, especially protein powder, can be helpful for people who are not getting enough protein from their diet. Check price at Amazon. Libby Mitchell is the Social Media Coordinator for University of Utah Health Care. Many similar studies have been done, that show similar results. If you’re consuming an extremely high amount of protein, you could still be at risk of kidney stones (the science isn’t clear when it comes to plant proteins here). If you’re interested in more, this is a pretty well written and cited guide. One hypothesis is that the consumption of plant proteins lowers the production of uremic toxins. The question is why does a high protein diet cause an increased risk of kidney stones? However, in patients with CKD the phosphorous cannot remove the mineral and that can lead to leaching of calcium from the bones, and deposits of calcium on organs. Spinach, beets, and sweet potatoes to name a few. Unlimited visits. Potassium-rich foods include citrus, beans and nuts. I’m not a medical professional, just a guy that enjoys doing research and tries to break it down as simply as possible. Normal functioning kidneys remove phosphorous in the blood. But the whole kidney stone issue is pretty complicated. Eating a high protein diet probably isn’t bad for you, but doing so with unhealthy kidneys probably is. “These toxins have been implicated in the progression of CKD,” says Beddhu. What we do know is that high protein diets increase the risk of kidney stones. Realistically, it’s much lower, since pea protein has even less oxalate in it, and is the main component in almost all vegan protein powders. Renal patients need to limit the amount of protein in their daily diets. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated site, The Hardest Nutrients to Get on a Vegan Diet [Study Summary], How to Get Enough Protein as a Vegan: The Complete Guide, Vegan Nutrition Guide: The Best Vitamin and Mineral Sources, What Is and Isn’t Vegan: Complete Guide [List], The Best Pets for Vegans (Herbivores): The Complete Guide. “Dietary interventions, such as increasing plant protein intake, may have an effect on slowing down the progression of kidney disease,” says Beddhu. Unless you’re eating a ton of protein over a long period of time, most people will never have an issue. About Us. It’s also found in calcium-oxalate kidney stones. If there is too much oxalate in a kidney, along with other conditions (like low amounts of liquid), it can form stones with calcium. If you’re eating a reasonable amount of protein either way, you won’t have an increased risk of kidney stone formation. Based on that, I feel it’s reasonable to conclude that if your oxalate consumption is causing you health problems (which is really could), it’s not from the amount in a protein shake or two a day. Your kidneys are instrumental in helping your body remove waste created during protein synthesis. What is protein powder? The supplements can be used without fear of damaging a healthy liver or kidneys. Growing numbers of people suffer from chronic kidney disease. Because certain plant foods are really high in oxalate. “In this study, we found every 33% increase in the plant to total protein ratio was associated with a statistically significant decreased risk of death in those with CKD,” said Srinivasan Beddhu, MD, a nephrologist with University of Utah Health Care. Your kidneys are instrumental in helping your body remove waste created during protein synthesis. Find a doctor or location close to you so you can get the health care you need, when you need it, 50 North Medical Drive Salt Lake City, UT 84132. All clinical services and programs are part of University of Utah Health Hospitals and Clinics. 3 years ago. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned. Whilst … There's mixed research on high-protein drinks and kidneys. “But this needs to be tested in randomized controlled trials.”. There’s definitely a significant amount of oxalate in most plant-based protein powders, but it’s rarely super high. Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Your needs are based on your stage of kidney disease and can change over time as kidney disease progresses. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate plant based diets actually had a lower chance of kidney stone formation than others (9). The bad news though, is that in large amounts, protein powder may harm your kidneys. Studies show it can: Help you keep a healthy weight. Often, protein powders lack taste. Is there a particular powder that you would recommend? Potassium that is not efficiently filtered by the kidneys can throw off heart rhythm. The Side Effects of Protein Drinks on the Kidneys | Livestrong.com However, you’re likely at a lower risk than if you were supplementing whey protein. So we have a bit of a mix. Preparing Green Pea Protein Powder. People who are vegan may prefer soy protein, ... And too much protein can be hard on your kidneys and ... How to Use Protein Powders. They can provide recommendations on the type of green pea protein and the amount needed for you individually. Oxalate can also interfere with the absorption of calcium (6). In fact, you may benefit from a plant-based diet if you have early kidney disease. Even if it consisted of pure hemp protein, that would only be about 22mg of oxalate. Best Tasting Vegan Protein Powder: Vega Sport Protein. Not intrinsically-:-bad. It doesn’t necessarily apply to athletes, but it is a concern. “Our research indicates that plant-based proteins could play an important role in improving the health outcomes for people with decreased kidney function.”, While the impacts of adding plant protein are being seen it still is not clear why these impacts are occurring. Plant-based foods usually have fewer calories than animal-based foods. We know that uric acid kidney stones need a high uric acid concentration, along with acidic urine in order to form (4). Healthy kidneys have millions of nephrons that can filter this waste and remove it from your body through urine. The kidneys should not let any protein through so protein in the urine is a sign of abnormal kidney response. Can Drinking Too Many Protein Shakes Cause Kidney Stones? I’ve been perusing Amazon and have noticed that a number of the plant-based options contain chia seeds as a primary ingredient, which are quite high in oxalate. How Does Oxalate Intake Affect Kidney Stones? Kidney stones can be caused my many lifestyle factors – diet is only one. . A vegan protein is very versatile. A typical serving size (one scoop) is around 30 grams. It’s also typically only studied in untrained populations who are told not to be active during the study. Thanks for your opinions, which seem rather well-reasoned. We all need protein in our diet every day. These supplements are high in either phosphorus or potassium, or they are not compatible with unhealthy kidneys. If you’d like to see the oxalate content of more foods, here are 2 good guides: Oxalate and veganism is a complicated subject, and way outside the scope of this post. Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). So there’s a lot glossed over out of necessity. chronic kidney disease Brown rice protein is common has a low-moderate amount of oxalate. 1. It’s reasonable to be at least have questions about this. In each of these papers, the researchers were trying to establish whether too much dietary protein can damage the kidneys, and what risks high protein diets may have. People who want to protect their kidneys are usually advised to eat less protein. Libby Mitchell. The research points towards acid-base load (3). In other words, kidneys need to filter more blood per unit time than otherwise. In general, there are 4 main types of kidney stones: When it comes to vegan protein powder and kidney stones, we care most about calcium stones (specifically calcium-oxalate stones), and uric acid stones. This is precisely why members with kidney disease who are not on Dialysis, are prescribed a … Taken in excess or when not needed, can be toxic 2 the kidneys. Burgers. However, the long-term effect had not been adequately studied, until this study was published in … This eases my mind a bit but I’m paranoid so I’ll probably do more research. Is Oxalate Consumption A Major Concern For Vegans? Keep in mind that the issues only appear in high protein diets. matter if it’s from honey, maple syrup, molasses, or coconuts If you’ve had real kidney stone issues in the past and are apprehensive about using vegan protein powder, talk to an actual doctor. Even then, individuals may respond differently. I’ve tried quite a few protein powders, here’s my summary of the best plant-based protein powders. Most are mainly pea protein, while a few have a blend of a few others (usually hemp/grains). Due to the excess amount of protein you ingest with protein powder, you may be overworking your kidneys, causing strain and damage. Protein needs vary based on your … Of all the many potential causes of kidney stones, vegan protein powder can really only be involved in 2 of them: protein consumption, and oxalate consumption. Some plant foods are high in oxalate, and we know that oxalate is a main part of certain kidney stones. Talk to a doctor now. “They can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, and death in patients with kidney disease.”. Naked pea protein takes third spot and thieves on their … high amounts of animal protein is not good for one's kidneys. Another explanation deals with the levels of phosphorus in the body. 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