Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function


“Protein Source: An Acid
Test for Kidney Function” Chronic kidney disease is a
major public health problem affecting about one
in eight Americans, increasing the risks
of disease and death even among those with only mild
decreases in kidney function. So low cost, low risk
preventive strategies that anyone can
do are needed to address the epidemic
of kidney disease. Diet plays a role in
kidney function decline. Specifically, diets higher
in animal protein, animal fat, and
cholesterol, may be associated with protein
leakage into the urine (a sign of kidney damage), and generally, diets higher
in fruits vegetables, and whole grains,
lower in meat and sweets, may be protective against
kidney function decline. In comparison to the diet
eaten by our ancestors, not only are we eating more
saturated fat, sugar, and salt we’re now eating an
acid-producing diet, as opposed to a base-producing
or alkaline diet. Ancestral human diets were
largely plant-based, and as such produced
more base than acid. Dietary acid load (DAL)
is determined by the balance of acid-
inducing food, which is rich in
animal proteins (such as meats,
eggs,and cheese) offset by base-
inducing foods such as fruits
and vegetables. And in this national survey
of 12,000 American adults, dietary acid load
was associated with kidney damage among
U.S. adults. Acid-inducing diets are
believed to impact the kidney via
tubular toxicity, damage to the tiny delicate
urine-making tubes in the kidney via increased
ammonia production. See, ammonia is a base,
so the kidney creates ammonia to buffer the acid
from the food we eat. This is beneficial
in the short term to get rid of
the acid, however, in the
long term, all that extra ammonia
in our kidneys day in and day out
can exert toxic effects. Our kidney function tends
to decline progressively after our 30’s,
and by our 80’s our kidney capacity
may be down to half. Perhaps this so-called
age-related decline in kidney function is
a result of damage induced by a lifetime of
ammonia overproduction. That’s just one
theory, though. The acidic pH may increase
the production of free radicals and damage the kidney that
way, add to scarring. Not only is protein derived
from plant foods accompanied by antioxidants
to fight the free radicals, plant protein is less acid
forming in the first place, because it tends to have less
sulfur–containing amino acids. One of the reasons plant foods
tend to be less acid-forming than animal foods is because
acid is produced by the sulfur in the protein, and there’s
less in plant proteins. So, the more important
determinant of the effect of dietary protein on
kidney disease progression is the QUALITY of
the ingested protein in other words, whether it
induces acid-production like most animal protein, or base production like most
fruit and vegetables rather than the quantity
of protein ingested. Since American diets are
largely acid-producing because they are deficient
in fruits and vegetables and contain large amounts
of animal products, changing from a standard
American diet to a vegan diet may improve acidosis in patients
with chronic kidney disease. Under normal circumstances a
vegetarian diet is alkalinizing whereas a non-vegetarian diet
leads to an acid load. This is true even
of vegetarians that consume processed meat
replacements like veggie burgers. Plant-based diets have been
prescribed for decades for those with chronic
kidney failure. No animal fat, no cholesterol,
less acid load, and helps lower
blood pressure. And indeed if you compare
the kidney function of vegans to vegetarians
to omnivores, the most plant-based diet
was associated with improved parameters
for the prevention of degenerative
kidney decline.

47 Replies to “Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function

  1. I've once heard about a qi gong drill where they massage the kidneys to loose toxines, but just not getting toxines in there might be smarter.

  2. bought your book Dr. Gregor! Thank you for writing it. its on the coffee table and isa point of discussion with anyone who visits the living room.

  3. hey.. can u do a video about yeast. I've been having alot of nutritional yeast lately and my sister told me that her friend told her that if u have a lot of yeast, u can get a yeast infection? Is this true Dr Gregg, im scared

  4. Wow this is so far of facts I don't understand why the even have facts in its title. This has all been disproven and misrepresented data in the studies.

  5. Kidney disease? Stop drinking alcohol,start drinking distilled water.If your urine does not look like water,or slightly yellow,you are at risk. Dilute your urine toxins by drinking plenty of water.

  6. Excellent video!  However, for meat eaters this truth will be quickly dismissed.  IF they are lucky they will listen once in their lives when a heart attack knocks the truth into them.  IF, because they will likely die and not get another chance.

  7. Dr G. Thanks so much for all you do! I very recently got your book and just now heard about your app. I'm on it!

  8. There are sulfur rich AA's in plant proteins too. For example sesame seeds and brazil nuts have more methionine than chicken, fish, and beef. Also there is much research for sulfur containing AA's protect against liver damage, toxicity, the greying of hair, and protection from the effects of stress. Why do you only show research that confirms your confirmation bias?

  9. Thank you Dr. Greger for your pregnancy videos. I am a birth support worker and was curious about the Brewer's diet and the increase of salt and protein to protect against pre-eclampsia? It's highly suggested that increasing salt and protein (especially animal products) will reduce the chance of developing pre-eclampsia. Thank you for your time.

  10. well it seems that paleo diet promoter Mark Sisson and Loren Cordain where already here to thumb down this video…..now the are very pissed off…lol

  11. +NutritionFacts.org I suffer from CKD, currently under transplant since 5 years ago. ny new studies about reversing damage to the kidney?

  12. I literally sat down with my evening snack of 2 cups apples and an ounce of ground flax as this video started playing:) I breathed a sigh of relief; a healthy diet is the best health insurance there is.

  13. Dr. G
    I have been vegan for last 15 years.
    My urine ph continues to remain between 5 -7.
    does alcohol have effect on urine ph.

  14. my paleo mates are convinced grains and gluten cause kidney failure. its a bit hard to work out who to believe these days.

  15. After being vegan for almost 2 years, my pre diabetes diagnosis has been long gone, hurray! I have suffered from renal colic for 16 years, and have been hospitalized due to the blinding pain. Since I started a vegan diet those terrifying pains are gone, yet every now and then I feel a slight discomfort. I know I need to increase my water consumption, but besides that, are there any foods that need to be controlled? My family and I eat a whole foods diet, I have never purchased faux meat. I make my own veggie and bean burgers, wheat meat, you name it… How long does it take for the renal system to revert, to some degree, to a healthier state? Thank you in advance for any help on this topic! Blessings…

  16. At 2:53 there is a chart describing different foods acid load to the kidneys.
    Does anyone know where nuts and seeds lie on that chart?

  17. so whats the difference between vegetarian diet and vegan diet? vegetarians eat eggs and milk and its acid forming right? so shouldnt vegan diet be the best?

  18. Very misleading. Ammonia is highly toxic to the body and so it can also be viewed that the carbonic acid formed in the body helps to neutralize the toxic ammonia. in the process an acid neutralizing bicarbonate is produced.

    Furthermore, the ammonia or ammonium being discussed as being produced is produced by the kidneys is from the amino acid glutamine of which meats are a great source.

    The fact is that ALL FOODS metabolize in to acids so according to his hypothesis eating any food would strain the kidneys.

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