Controversies surrounding high-protein diet intake: satiating effect and kidney and bone health

Adv Nutr. 2015 May 15;6(3):260-6. doi: 10.3945/an.114.007716. Print 2015 May.


Long-term consumption of a high-protein diet could be linked with metabolic and clinical problems, such as loss of bone mass and renal dysfunction. However, although it is well accepted that a high-protein diet may be detrimental to individuals with existing kidney dysfunction, there is little evidence that high protein intake is dangerous for healthy individuals. High-protein meals and foods are thought to have a greater satiating effect than high-carbohydrate or high-fat meals. The effect of high-protein diets on the modulation of satiety involves multiple metabolic pathways. Protein intake induces complex signals, with peptide hormones being released from the gastrointestinal tract and blood amino acids and derived metabolites being released in the blood. Protein intake also stimulates metabolic hormones that communicate information about energy status to the brain. Long-term ingestion of high amounts of protein seems to decrease food intake, body weight, and body adiposity in many well-documented studies. The aim of this article is to provide an extensive overview of the efficacy of high protein consumption in weight loss and maintenance, as well as the potential consequences in human health of long-term intake.

Keywords: bone health; high-protein diet; kidney dysfunction; satiety; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Satiation / drug effects
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Dietary Proteins