We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Effects of Too Much Protein?

By Caitlin Shih
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The vast majority of negative side effects associated with too much protein have their roots in the kidneys' circulatory system. While there are those that dispute these health complications, many argue that, first of all, excess protein that cannot be absorbed by the body causes increased production of urea in the urine, and this can lead to a variety of different side effects all over the body. The mechanism for producing urine in the body is the kidneys, so the increased workload may increase the risk of kidney disease and the worsening of any kidney problems that already exist. More indirectly, this process can increase one's risk of gout, and the frequent urination, as a result, can lead to dehydration. In addition, calcium tends to be excreted in the urine in conjunction with the excess urea, and some researchers have argued that this can increase one's risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

More specifically, the reason why too much protein leads to higher concentrations of urea in the urine is because excess protein gets relegated to the liver, where the animo acids will be converted into other usable molecules through a process called deanimation. During the process, nitrogen from the animo acids is transformed first into ammonia, and then into urea by the liver. Excreting this through urine is the job of the kidneys, but too much protein in the diet poses a heavy workload for these organs. Those who already have some form of kidney disease are best off keeping their protein intake at a stable level.

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is characterized by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. Some argue, then, that consistent excess protein in the body increases one's risk of gout. The kidneys are normally instrumental in expelling uric acid from the body, but the extra workload imposed on them may impair this function.

More frequent urination is the obvious side effect of the above biological process. Each time an individual urinates to expel the extra urea, water will inevitably be excreted as well. As a result, too much protein can quickly lead to dehydration, which may be indicated by symptoms such as headache, muscle cramps, or dizziness.

Furthermore, the excess levels of urea produced during this process will normally lead to an unstable pH level. Researchers have observed increased concentrations of calcium in the urine of those with too much protein in their diet, and some believe that said calcium exists to balance out pH levels. Although there is some dispute, this may pose a risk for osteoporosis because the body may reabsorb calcium from the bones for this purpose. Some believe that increasing one's calcium intake can compensate for this. In addition, the higher concentrations of calcium circulating through the kidneys may increase one's risk of kidney stone formation.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.