Risks Of High Protein Diets
A change in blood acidity caused by
a high-protein diet accelerates osteoporosis by depleting bones of their
calcium, say researchers at the University of Rochester in New York.
Their study, which appears in the American Journal of Physiology, shows
how bones sacrifice themselves to compensate for the acid-producing foods we
eat. "When we eat, we generate acid," said lead study author Dr. David
Bushinsky, professor of medicine and of pharmacology and physiology at
Strong Memorial Hospital.
"These acids are ultimately excreted by the kidneys, but as we age, our
kidneys don't function so well. If the kidneys can't keep up with our
appetite, the bones step in and absorb the excess acid.
That's good in the short term, but in the process the bones surrender
calcium, phosphorus, sodium and everything they should be keeping to stay
Protein generates more acid than other foods, and the proteins in red
meat generate more acid than those in fish or poultry. Vegetable proteins
give rise to the least amount of acid.