• Briana Theroux

Carnivore Diet: Part 3



What are the risks of eating a high-protein diet for long periods of time?


Kidney Disease


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.

Osteoporosis


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.

Longevity


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.


Conclusion

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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This is the third and final of a 3-part series on the carnivore diet. You can find the other posts here and here.





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