Excessive Intake Non-Dairy Protein Could Raise Risk of Kidney Stones

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD MSc PhD Assistant Professor Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Senior Collaborator in the Nurses' Health Study Brigham and Women's Hospital Channing Division of Network Medicine

Dr. Ferraro

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD MSc PhD
Assistant Professor
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Senior Collaborator in the Nurses’ Health Study
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Channing Division of Network Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In our study, we looked at the association between dietary intake of different sources of protein (vegetable, dairy and non-dairy animal), potassium (a marker of fruits and vegetables) and their interaction and the risk of forming kidney stones. We looked at their interaction because some protein is a source of acid, whereas fruits and vegetables are a source of alkali, thus their relationship could potentially impact acid-base status and in turn the risk of stones by modifying the metabolism of calcium and other elements such as urine citrate and uric acid.

We found that the risk of forming stones depends not only on the amount of protein but also on the source, with no risk associated with intake of vegetable and dairy protein, and a modestly higher risk for excessive non-dairy animal protein; on the other hand, intake of potassium was associated with a markedly lower risk. Interestingly, the interaction between intake of protein and potassium, the so called net acid load, was also associated with higher risk of forming kidney stones, suggesting that the effect of acid intake is modulated by that of alkali and vice versa.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Excessive intake of non-dairy animal protein could increase the risk of forming kidney stones, especially if not counterbalanced by an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies will be needed to look at potential mechanisms of kidney damage (including increased risk of kidney stones) by high dietary acid loads.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, Ernest I. Mandel, Gary C. Curhan, Giovanni Gambaro, andEric N. Taylor

Dietary Protein and Potassium, Diet–Dependent Net Acid Load, and Risk of Incident Kidney Stones
CJASN CJN.01520216; published ahead of print July 21, 2016,doi:10.2215/CJN.0152021

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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1 Comment
  • Maria Jasmine Freeman
    Posted at 09:00h, 13 August

    This is v helpful and practical. I would be interested to know what type of kidney stones were addressed here; it sounds applicable for uric acid and calcium oxalate stones equally, and more. My personal experience with uric acid stones conforms with these findings. Worth mentioning here is that organ sources of animal protein, ex liver, kidney, heart, etc..are notoriously most potent!
    Dr Hana Fayyad, pediatrician