The Rise in Popularity of High Protein Diets and the Possible Implications on Kidney Health

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Introduction

In 2018, High protein diets for example Dukan, Atkins, The South Beach, Paleo and Ketogenic are becoming increasingly popular. The general public relates these diets to a healthy lifestyle choice. A High protein diet is one that includes protein in excess of Dietary Reference Intake recommendations for a person without kidney disease (0.8g/kg/day) (Poortmans and Dellieux, 2000).

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There are various tests that can be used to detect kidney function. The most used test in the healthcare industry is to find the GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) of the individual. This is determined by first finding the creatinine levels which is a waste product found in muscle tissues in the body. When this is found the GFR level can then be calculated using this value as well as factors such as age, gender and race. In Ireland the most used method for detecting and measuring CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) is to perform a five stage system test based on the individuals GFR levels over a period of time. The higher the stage goes the more severe the disease is.(HSE, 2018) In this study we try to find the correlation between high protein diets and the implications that could possibly be an outcome on kidney health.

The increase and popularity of protein diets

In recent years high protein diets have risen significantly in popularity. Proteins are essential nutrients, which are vital structural components of body tissues, for example muscle, hair and nails. Many individuals have now made a conscious choice to increase their protein consumption, and Nielsen has reported that 55% of households would regard high protein as an important attribute when buying food for their households (Nielsen, 2018).

Due to protein being a vital component of the human body, it has major health benefits, which are the causes for high protein diets significant rise in popularity (Du, 2018). One of the prime benefits being that in studies where high protein diets have been consumed, it has been concluded that high protein diets are effective in promoting fat loss and therefore helping to maintain, or achieve a healthy weight ((Phillips, 2006), (Blachier et al, 2018), (Murphy et al, 2013), (Oh and No, 2018)). One of the reasons proteins helps individuals who consume it in high amounts lose weight is because tends to have satiety enhancing effects (Du, 2018).

Protein is very popular amongst individuals who are also trying to increase their muscle mass. Protein promotes muscle growth because the building blocks of protein are amino acids, which help with cellular function and muscle repair. Therefore, if not enough protein is present in the diet, then there will not be an adequate supply of amino acids available for muscle metabolism and ongoing anabolism (Leal,

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