High Protein Diet Increases Intestinal Calcium Absorption

by John Carbone

First of all, I just found your site and I think it's got a lot of useful information and is presented with a common sense approach.

I do, however, have a comment on the statement that "Calcium is a mineral to be added once a day as a high protein diet causes a loss of calcium in urine."

True, individuals on high protein diets do exhibit hypercalciuria, but the probable reason is that increased dietary protein intake leads to an increase in intestinal calcium absorption.

I think the above wording might be a little misleading, suggesting that the high protein diet is leaching calcium from the bones.

Rather, individuals consuming elevated amounts of protein (2+g/kg/d) are absorbing more calcium from the diet and, most likely, excreting excesses in the urine.

A reasonable daily calcium supplement isn't going to hurt an otherwise healthy individual; I just thought it might be important to explain the increase in urinary calcium.

Dr. Jane Kerstetter at UConn has been investigating the protein-calcium relationship.

Here's a link to her 2003 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition paper on the topic: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/78/3/584S

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