Excess Protein Consumption

Many high-protein diets could potentially be harmful to people who are genetically predisposed to a given health condition.

Genetics is a major factor in the development of many health problems, but the environment to which genes are exposed also plays a significant role. In general, high protein diets, depending on the food choices of the diet, increase risk for the following: inadequate vitamins and minerals (especially antioxidants), low fiber intake, high total and saturated fat intake, excess caloric intake, excess protein intake. These problems can have long-term negative impacts.


Conditions that suggest Excess Protein Consumption


Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)

High-protein diets may trigger food allergies. Food allergies often arise when protein is poorly digested and/or particular protein-containing foods are consumed too frequently.



High protein intakes may lead to dehydration due to excessive urine output (related to ketone production).

Organ Health  

Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

High protein intakes may cause extra metabolic stress to be placed on the liver and kidneys.


Kidney Stones (Urolithiasis)

High protein intakes may lead to loss of calcium, leading in turn to the development of kidney stones.

Risk factors for Excess Protein Consumption

Lab Values - Chemistries  

Elevated BUN


Elevated creatinine



Too much phosphorus in the diet of the blood can cause low calcium levels.

Symptoms - Food - Intake  

High intake of red meat consumption


High fowl consumption


Eating mercury contaminated fish

Symptoms - Food - Preferences  

(Partial) vegetarian diet or omnivorous diet

Excess Protein Consumption can lead to


Osteoporosis / Risk

It has been commonly thought that high protein intakes may contribute to a loss of calcium, leading in turn to the development of osteoporosis. This may not be the case. In 2004, scientists from the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University reported that men and women who increased their dietary protein by an average of 58 grams a day had 25% higher levels of bone growth factor and lower levels of a marker of bone resorption compared with a control group. Two other studies have demonstrated similar results suggesting that a higher protein diet does not increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Recommendations for Excess Protein Consumption




A high protein diet requires supplemental calcium to offset the additional calcium lost in the urine. Animal protein, while by itself can increase calcium loss, when taken with calcium may improve bone density. [Am J Clin Nutr, 2002; 75:pp. 609-610, 773-779]


Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Likely to help
Highly recommended



Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.


Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.


A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Saturated Fat

A type of fat that is readily converted to LDL cholesterol and is thought to encourage production of arterial disease. Saturated fats tend to be hard at room temperature. Among saturated fats are animal fats, dairy products, and such vegetable oils as coconut and palm oils.


Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.


The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.


The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.

Kidney Stone

A stone (concretion) in the kidney. If the stone is large enough to block the tube (ureter) and stop the flow of urine from the kidney, it must be removed by surgery or other methods. Also called Renal Calculus. Symptoms usually begin with intense waves of pain as a stone moves in the urinary tract. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin. The pain may continue if the stone is too large to pass; blood may appear in the urine and there may be the need to urinate more often or a burning sensation during urination. If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present and a doctor should be seen immediately.


The second most abundant mineral in the body found in every living cell. It is involved in the proper functioning of both muscles and nerves. It is needed for metabolic processes of all cells, to activate many other nutrients, and to form energy-storage and energy-releasing compounds. The phosphorus content of the body is approximately one percent of total body weight. Phosphorus combines with fats to form phospholipids.


A disease in which bone tissue becomes porous and brittle. The disease primarily affects postmenopausal women.


(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.

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