Accusation 13: Spreads “the Biggest Myth of All” About Kidney Risk

Nor does the ANA [Atkins Diet] adversely affect kidney function. Although Atkins recommends that individuals with renal impairment seek medical approval from their personal physician prior to starting the ANA [Atkins Diet], studies have shown that high protein intake was not associated with renal function decline in women with normal renal function.

According to your website, the fact that Atkins followers risk kidney damage[977] “may be the biggest myth of all.” You counter this “fallacy” that eating too much protein on the Atkins Diet is bad for one’s kidneys with “Fact: Too many people believe this untruth simply because it has been repeated so often that even intelligent health professionals assume it must have been reported somewhere. But the fact is that it has never been reported anywhere. No one has as yet produced a study for review, or even cite a specific case in which a diet high in protein causes any form of kidney disorder.”[978] Again, this is simply incorrect.

Atkins Dismisses the Harvard Nurses’ Study’s Conclusions

You dismiss the Harvard Nurses’ Study’s finding that high meat protein intake may worsen kidney function in part because the diet of the women in the study was “not a low-carbohydrate diet analogous to the ANA [Atkins Diet].” This is true. The “excessive” amount of protein which furthered kidney damage in the women in the Nurses’ Study is only about half of what one might expect to get on the Atkins Diet.[979]

Please see the Kidney “Scarring” section for more about kidney risk.

Atkins Claims Diet is High Fat, Not High Protein

You claim your diet is not an “excessively high protein regimen.” The Atkins Diet, you argue, “should be more appropriately be called a high fat regimen.”[1151] It is both.

Even according to one of the “Research Supporting Atkins” studies, followers of the Atkins Diet eat as much as 156 grams of protein a day,[980] 40% more protein than most Americans eat, and perhaps twice as much animal protein.[981]