24 October 2011

Low Protein diet

Protein is an essential nutrient. Protein contains 16% of Nitrogen, the body eliminates urea in the form of urine. A healthy body weight of 60 kgs needs around 60 gms of protein per day. A low protein diet is a diet in which the intake of protein is reduced. Low protein diet is prescribed for patients with liver or kidney disease, in order to lessen the protein load on the kidney or liver.

Low protein diet and liver disease:

Proteins are metabolized by liver and digested, then ammonia produced is converted to urea a waste product and excreted out. In liver damage proteins are not metabolized properly and  a nitrogen metabolite ammonia builds up in the blood stream and this may result in liver diseases or hepatic encephalopathy. But proteins should not be eliminated completely from the diet. Hence include low protein diet in liver diseases.

Low protein diet and kidney disease:

When kidneys are not functioning properly a low protein diet is prescribed. In case of impaired kidney function the metabolite urea builds up in the blood and is not excreted outside  and this affects kidney.As to decrease load on kidneys a low protein diet is prescribed.

Low protein diet and tyrosinemia:


Tyrosinemia is a inborn error of metabolism. The body cannot effectively breakdown the amino acid tyrosine. Hence there is increase in concentration of tyrosine in blood. A low protein diet is required in management of tyrosinemia.

Low protein foods:

Bread, oatmeal, apple, banana, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, pie, mixed grain, cereals, cheese, lettuce, rice, pasta.