Huel and Kidney: is this much protein bad for someone who has proteinuria?

Hi all,
So, I am trying Huel because I am trying to lose weight.

My whole story so far has been a saga - found out about 2 years ago that I only have one kidney (born with it, apparently) and that such kidney is leaking protein due to some scar tissue in some of its filtering cells.

Now, I have always struggled with weight gain, but never as these past years - I am 1m 53 cm tall and weight 93kg at the moment.

The doctors can’t really understand what the issue for proteinuria & scar tissue in my kidney is, but they suspect it’s due to having too much weight, that is putting a lot of pressure on my kidney. My kidney is working fine, but I need to lose weight asap and be healthier.

However, I also red that too much protein strains the kidneys - although it isn’t clear if veggie protein does the same as animal protein…

All this being said, will Huel make this situation worse?

As I am in a Catch 22 sort of situation, I thought I’d ask. I started 1 week ago, and I really Ike it and it’s really easy to stop overeating with it…

But I don’t want my kidney to be under a lot of extra stress.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your helps!

My partner is a renal nurse specialist. She worries about my protein intake and I have both kidneys with no scarring.

I read your message to her and she said it is risky for you to continue taking Huel, but only if it were your main source of nutrition.

Her recommendation is fruit and veg, mostly green leafy veg. But this all depends on your kidney function.

You should discuss this with your nephrologist in the first instance.

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Hi Teknos,
Thank you for your message!

This is a good place to start - thank you for sharing and thank your partner for me.

I’ll probably reduce my Huel intake to lunch or dinner, and have regular meals at breakfast, lunch and snacks.

I will also discuss with my nephrologist, to make sure I’m not doing anything stupid!

Many thanks again! :blush:

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Hi @PepperJoanne

If you are renal-compromised there may indeed be an issue with protein intake so I would advise caution. Huel is high protein, so I would limit intake to around 1 x 100g serving per day (depending on the rest of your dietaty intake) and I would also discuss with your nephrologist.

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Two new studies indicate enhanced risk of new chronic kidney disease or worsening of pre-existing CKD from a high protein diet.
Notwithstanding these limitations, the studies suggest that high daily protein intake may have deleterious effects on kidney health in the general population, they state.

The recommended dietary allowance for protein intake is only 0.8 g/kg/day and the requirement for protein is likely even lower, at only about 0.6 g/kg/day, provided adequate essential amino acids are consumed, they explain.

“However, most adults in Western societies eat 1.0 to 1.4 g/kg/day of protein,” the editorialists note, “[and] protein intake may be as high as 20% to 25% or more of the total energy source,” they add — considerably higher than the 10% to 15% recommended by most guidelines.

“Emerging data across individuals and populations suggest that glomerular hyperfiltration associated with a high-protein diet may lead to a higher risk of de novo CKD or may accelerate progression of preexisting CKD,” the editorialists conclude.

I’ve been on Huel a little under a year now and yesterday had my last bloodwork’s done for this year – my liver and kidneys are in the best shape they’ve ever been so the high protein hasn’t had any detrimental impact on me at all – that being said I didn’t have any prior diagnosed kidney issues so caution should be advised as James mentioned.

Selemat Pagi!

The world of medical studies is not a ubiquitously deterministic one, meaning not everyone is affected and if they are it is by by different degrees. I, too, have been on Huel for a year or two and that follows a medical crisis (which began in Malaysia oddly enough) that made me examine my diet in some detail.

I believe Huel is the most effective way of providing the nutrition we need, hence am encouraged by your bloodwork as proof of this. I like the continued refinement of the Huel formula. I suppose I am conscious that the one ingredient - protein - that is deliberately boosted to at least twice the norm (almost 3x for my weight) is done so to improve satiation and thereby help with weight loss. In the UK, that is a high-ranking problem for the nation’s health so the if Huel’s high protein levels reduce obesity I think that is the tackling the highest priority…bravo!

Even so, too much of anything can cause problems in the longer term and according to these studies it can affect kidney health, both for existing sufferers of CKD and others. Compared to obesity this is a secondary problem, I suppose, but still a problem. If I could dial in my own Huel formula, I would ask for the protein content to be in line with Reference Nutritient Intake, but i realise that is impractical so have not asked.


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