What are the risks of eating a high-protein diet for long periods of time?
Meta-analyses of high-protein diets have suggested that there is no increased risk of developing kidney disease, although they can certainly accelerate kidney damage in those with pre-existing kidney disease.
High-protein diets do not increase the risk of osteoporosis despite increasing calcium excretion because they simultaneously increase calcium absorption and increase growth factor signaling on bone tissue. In fact, protein supplementation increases bone mineral density in the aging population.
However, protein does pull on the body’s buffering systems to help maintain normal blood pH due to its acidity. So, if one isn’t consuming adequate potassium and bicarbonate in the diet, bone tissue will be demineralized to supply buffering substrates. Ketogenic diets seem to reduce BMD, and this would be one reason why (in addition to the acidic ketones via the same mechanism).
Ceiling For Protein Metabolism
There currently is no known ceiling to the liver’s ability to metabolize protein, transform ammonia, and excrete urea.
There isn’t any consistent or convincing evidence that high-protein diets reduce longevity. Rodent studies aren’t applicable to humans and show conflicting results, while the two studies in monkeys don’t support an effect of restriction.
So, basically the primary issue is osteoporosis and bone loss due to an insufficient intake of buffering molecules from eschewing plants. That’s easily resolved by supplementing potassium citrate and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
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