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  1. #1
    FitChutney's Avatar
    FitChutney is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy kidney damage

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    Hi

    I'm new to the paleo diet and would like to get an opinion on the dangers of a high protein intake and kidney damage. I understand ketosis may cause the body to form dangerous compounds known as ketones, which can cause organs, specifically kidneys, to fail. Ketosis is believed to be avoided by consuming a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. Dosen't the paleo diet limit carb intake?

    Should I be worried? to less than 50 grams per day.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    DFH
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    The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Metabolism and ketosis

    The other response to the Atkins diet has been to say it was unhealthy.

    Yeah, there're two factors. The Atkins diet, because it's very low in carbohydrates, it can be ketogenic. That's why your body, in effect, stops running on glucose, on blood sugar, and starts running on fat, and the fat's broken down into these ketone bodies. Ketosis is a mild version of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is the state that occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, and it's fatal.

    This whole medical society grew up basically thinking ketosis is bad, ketoacidosis is bad, and therefore ketosis in these diets is bad and you should do anything you can to avoid these ketogenic diets. In fact, many of the compromise diets from the 1930s through the 1990s were diets that cut back carbohydrates to just the level above which you won't have ketosis.

    So on one level, ketosis is bad. That was always the message, and the other level was, these diets are high in fat, and if they're high in fat, they're going to cause heart disease. One study was done by this fellow John La Rosa, who went on to be a big administrator in the American Heart Association. He did a study in 1981 where he said he put these people on a Atkins diet and their cholesterol levels skyrocketed. Their weight plummeted, and if you actually look at the study, it's almost impossible [that] what he says happened. It's really fascinating that you take somebody from the American Heart Association, you have him do a study on the Atkins diet in 1981, and the cholesterol levels skyrocket, even though the people lose like 20-30 pounds. What he said happened should not happen, even if the diet was atherogenic, as they say.

    Read more: Interview - Gary Taubes | Diet Wars | FRONTLINE | PBS

  3. #3
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitChutney View Post
    Hi

    I'm new to the paleo diet and would like to get an opinion on the dangers of a high protein intake and kidney damage. I understand ketosis may cause the body to form dangerous compounds known as ketones, which can cause organs, specifically kidneys, to fail.
    So what are you asking?

    Are you asking: "Is a high-protein diet potentially harmful to the kidneys?"

    Or are you asking: "Are ketones (at any level) harmful to the kidneys?"

    The sentence seems to go from the one to the other.

    On protein: The Primal Blueprint, like most low-carb diets, is not actually a high-protein diet. Rather, it's high fat, moderate protein, low-carb.

    On ketosis: Ketoacidosis (which is a state of uncontrolled production of ketones that can occur in, for example, alcoholism) is dangerous. However, if having a moderate quantity of ketones in your blood were dangerous then (before modern times) everyone who lived in Northern latitudes—at least during the winter, when carbohydrate-rich foods were very scarce—would have suffered kidney damage ... which is not the case. Ketosis is a normal human metabolic state.

    But those are just thoughts from me. Here is an answer to the question from a qualified medical doctor who uses ketogenic diets therapeutically with patients (scroll down to question number 5):

    Dr. Jay's Blog: Jay Wortman, M.D. on the science & clinical experience related to low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets & traditional First Nations style diets

    Ketosis is believed to be avoided by consuming a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. Dosen't the paleo diet limit carb intake?
    Actually, no, most current versions of the so-called Paleo Diet don't—although their proponents often describe them as low-carb, since if you throw out all cereals, as most if not all do, then you have a pretty low-carb regimen unless you really go crazy on starchy vegetables or fruit.

    Mark's version of a hunter-gatherer-inspired diet, which he calls the Primal Blueprint, suggests that one eat carbohydrates at a level appropriate to one's current metabolic state. See his Primal Blueprint 101, specially his "Carbohydrate Curve":

    Primal Blueprint 101 | Mark's Daily Apple

    Should I be worried? to less than 50 grams per day.
    As I say, the precise level that's best for you depends on your current metabolic state. Mark himself suggests 50 to 100 grammes a day for weight-loss. Most people seem to be OK on that—and, indeed, on less than that—but, of course, check with your GP.
    Last edited by Lewis; 07-19-2011 at 10:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Wow, that's 2 today about that vampire myth!

    No, you don't have to be worried. High protien intake will NOT cause kidney damage. That myth seems to stem from the fact that low protein is recommended for dialysis patients and folks that already have kidney problems.

    Ketones are not dangerous. They are naturally occuring product of your body using fatty acids for energy. Something it is designed to do. Your muscles (including heart) and some cells in your brain run more effectively using ketones than when using glucose. The ONLY time that ketones can be a concern is in a type 1 diabetic with uncontrolled blood-sugar, ketoacidosis is not the same as ketosis.

    So, don't sweat it. Ketosis is natural and desirable.

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