Is it possible to Overdose on Protein

We recently caught wind of a news brief that featured a prominent MD who came out as saying that you can overdose on protein, and that a diet that is too high in protein can have adverse effects on bones and kidney function. The goal of this post is to help you see through these claims to ultimately give you all the information you require in making the decision on your own.

Original Video 

Let’s see some of the Claims made by the Cardiologist here; we first want to note that MD’s usually have very little training in nutrition and anything they do have is from independent research and not through medical school.

Is it possible to Overdose on Protein

                This is true, but you can overdose on anything, water, carbohydrates, sugar, salt etc.

Protein has a lot of Fat in it

The two are entirely different macro nutrients, whether he misspoke or meant that some forms of protein can be high in fat either way this is extremely confusing. Protein is Protein and cannot contain fat or carbohydrates. Just like you would never say This Fat is High in Protein; it just does not make sense.

Excess Fat Leads to Heart Disease

This is derived from the Lipid Hypothesis and has been thoroughly debunked. If you over consume any macro nutrient you’re going to have problems.

High Protein intake can lead to Kidney Disorder

It is commonly invoked that high protein diets cause strain or stress on the kidneys however the only research that would indicate this is not done on a healthy population.  So to say a high protein diet can cause kidney issues in otherwise healthy individuals is incorrect at this time because that research simply doesn’t exist to substantiate that claim.

High Protein Diets can leach Calcium from the bones and effect bone density

                A study performed for this reason indicated a high protein diet had no effect on urinary calcium excretion or the amount of calcium retained. Short term high protein diets did not affect calcium homeostasis and is not detrimental to skeletal integrity.


We hope this helped answer any questions and clear up any confusion you had surrounding this topic. We have included links to the research mentioned and we also have a YouTube video that can go into some greater detail on this subject.

Thank You For Reading 






Kerstetter JE.

Dietary protein and bone:This is a meta-analysis and systematic review of the dietary protein and bone literature.

Am J Clin Nutr December 2009 vol. 90 no. 6 1451-1452

Dawson-Hughes B.

Interaction of Dietary Calcium and Protein in Bone Health in Humans:

J. Nutr. March 1, 2003 vol. 133 no. 3 852S-854S

Bonjour JP.

Dietary Protein: An Essential Nutrient For Bone Health

J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):526S-36S.

Cao JJ, Pasiakos SM, Margolis LM, Sauter ER, Whigham LD, McClung JP, Young AJ, Combs GF Jr.

Calcium homeostasis and bone metabolic responses to high-protein diets during energy deficit in healthy young adults: a randomized control trial.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Martin WF, Armstrong LA. Rodriguez NR.

Protein intake and renal function:

Nutrition & Metabolism 2005, 2:25 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-2-25

Manninen, AH.

Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. Spring 2004, 2(1): 9-13. doi:10.1089/met.2004.2.9.



By David Schroer