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Creatinine & Paleo : Paleo's Effect on the Kidney

by (1655)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created June 23, 2010 at 3:13 AM

So: studying my blood test results (see another thread I started recently with another question based on the data! Dang you guys know a lot about me!), I found that my creatinine levels are at exactly the very max of the healthy range male, 1.2 mg/l.

Worried that they're at exactly the max, I started researching it and two different facts seem like they are true, if I am interpreting the Interwebs correctly:

First, one significant cause of high creatinine levels is a high meat diet (paleo!)

Second, high creatinine levels are a significant marker of kidney disease/failure.

So (Socrates was a man; all men are mortal; therefore...) -- it seems like both of those statements are true and, if so, I'm wondering what the causal relationship between these is: does eating a lot of meat likely lead to kidney problems (which then causes the creatinine levels to rise)?

Biology was never my forte so I'm likely misinterpreting something or missing vital information--does anyone have any clues?

Bueller, anyone, anyone? Thank you!!! morgan

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3703 · January 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Very keen Craig

18142e3c7afbe464f2f9cc5da511e4bd
30 · January 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

China dominates the Olympics because the state scouts young children from kindergarten age and then dumps an obscene amount of money on their military style / reward and punishment based training. This is the primary reason why China can't win medals in team sports since sticks and carrots creates a narrowly oriented athlete that really can't handle the mental complexities involved in co-operative sports. On a side note, education is also terrible here and is the primary reason they can only rip-off / copy and not create.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · December 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

So you're 35-36, that creatinine at your age is high. I would confirm that by retesting and track your BUN also. If Paleo is affecting your kidney function, it would be more obvious with your BUN. If you had compromised kidneys to begin with, unrestricted protein consumption could be an issue. There is no "healthy" level of creatinine -- that depends on your age, as GFR is expected to go down as you age. For a 35 year old, 1.2 is high Stage 2 CKD. But retest since #s could be off.

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2933 · August 28, 2011 at 7:56 AM

antibiotics can do it I read. my level was 1.27 recently but I was on antibiotics at the time.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · May 12, 2011 at 7:41 AM

@Ed - Can you take a look at my post here? http://paleohacks.com/questions/21446/got-some-lab-results-back-any-suggestions-updated-5-10-11-added-vap-doc-wor#axzz1M3TfUQzB It seems I have a rising trend in Creatinine and BUN. Are there any ways to reverse this? Is there anything else in the labs that stand out? Any info is greatly appreciated

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1781 · August 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Born '57. Paleo and loving it..

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13
10502 · June 23, 2010 at 6:00 PM

"You're Abe Froman? The Sausage King of Chicago?"

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Just looked at your username and you have a Paleo blog and are from the 925. Ahhhh!! You are correct about some of your assumptions but please don't add your dogma to it.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Ummm. You're right, China dominated the olympics with their huge "African American" population and the Soviet Union dominated the olympics for many many years with their huge "African American" population. FAIL

78ecfc8268ec58cdc189301f4b071088
1655 · June 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Yeah, I'm happy you guys got my allusion. I had that movie memorized in HS. Born in '76. I should watch it again, I wonder how it has stood up to the test of time. Also, I hate jokes that reveal my age... perhaps I should go watch some Lady Gaga videos now.

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3703 · June 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM

African Americans are also extremely gluten and carb sensitive, hence more diabetic and metabolic related complications including kidney failure. In terms of sports and athletics, certain fields are dominated by African Americans. What does that say about lean muscle mass and the brain that coordinates? Anyone concerned about their kidneys, hypertension or metabolic disease should considering having their carb intake lower to prevent the inflammatory damage and artery hardening effects of insulin.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · June 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM

born 79 FTW! run them wheels backwards.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1
18671 · June 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

How many of us were alive in 1986?

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1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:47 AM

http://www.answerfitness.com/237/creatine-high-blood-pressure-fitness-nerd/ http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/fs_new/10factsabtaframerkd.cfm

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:46 AM

"While the literature on creatine has found it generally safe for use among healthy adults, there are a number of reported side-effects associated with creatine supplementation. And guess what? One of them is high blood pressure."....African-American men ages 30 to 39 are about 14 times more likely to develop kidney failure due to high blood pressure than Caucasian men in the same age group.1" Looks like high creatine levels, whether form diet or supplements is not good & can lead to high blood pressure which can lead to kidney failure.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:39 AM

"African Americans make up about 12 percent of the population but account for 32 percent of people with kidney failure"

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:36 AM

Well your stats on African Americans should not bring him comfort. African Americans experience kidney failure 4xs as much as Caucasians http://www.nkdep.nih.gov/news/campaign/african_americans.htm

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13
10502 · June 23, 2010 at 3:26 AM

Love the Ferris Bueller reference!! Too bad most people have no idea what that is.....

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8 Answers

23fc48e05305e0ca91a92c2cd446ca50
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311 · June 24, 2010 at 2:27 AM

To one of the commenters here: Creatine is not the same thing as creatinine. Creatine is a compound of three amino acids used in bodybuilding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine

Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatinine

But you're going to have that breakdown product no matter what, since your body makes its own creatine whether you take it as a supplement or not.

To the original poster: There is no good evidence that protein intake leads to kidney failure at all. Eating excess protein can be hard on kidneys which are already failing, however.

And BUN-to-creatinine ratio is a more accurate indicator of kidney function than creatinine by itself, apparently.

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5
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1648 · June 23, 2010 at 11:41 PM

I work in cardiac surgery (though not a medical professional), and manage a database where we have to put in risk indicators, one of which is creatinine value. 2.0 is considered renal failure (per my database's definition).

From my experience, 1.2 is fine. The norm of what I see is 0.9 - 1.1, 1.2 certainly wouldn't spark any concerns. If you were up to 1.5 or 1.6 you would need help. I would just say you should keep an eye on it, see if there are any trends. 1.2 is nothing to worry about, in my opinion. Do you have past values, to see if your trending upward?

Also, are you on any medications? That would put stress on your kidneys and can cause higher creatinine values.

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2933 · August 28, 2011 at 7:56 AM

antibiotics can do it I read. my level was 1.27 recently but I was on antibiotics at the time.

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4
3703 · June 23, 2010 at 3:29 AM

Creatinine is also a marker of LEAN MUSCLE MASS.

It is genetically higher in those with higher lean mass e.g. African Americans and in fact an adjustment of ~20% more is built in for estimations of kidney function (eGFR per MDRD calculation).

Is this the only lab value you have? Did you imbibe enough fluids prior to the lab or this a dehydrated value, in which case it may be underestimating true kidney flow?

No, BUN indicates protein (nitrogen) turnover, not the serum creatinine.

It is controversial in the nephrology field but protein restriction does not really improve kidney function, and the vice versa, high protein intakes do not compromise renal function.

Serum Cr can be higher also in renoarteriosclerosis which is plaque in the narrow arteries going to the kidneys. With an anti-inflammatory paleo/evo diet, this has been observed to reverse to normal (I've seen it and it has occurred with Mr. Billy E from Cr 2.8 to now 2.4).

http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/03/meat-centered-by-billy-e.html

Hope that helps!

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:39 AM

"African Americans make up about 12 percent of the population but account for 32 percent of people with kidney failure"

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Ummm. You're right, China dominated the olympics with their huge "African American" population and the Soviet Union dominated the olympics for many many years with their huge "African American" population. FAIL

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34
3703 · June 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM

African Americans are also extremely gluten and carb sensitive, hence more diabetic and metabolic related complications including kidney failure. In terms of sports and athletics, certain fields are dominated by African Americans. What does that say about lean muscle mass and the brain that coordinates? Anyone concerned about their kidneys, hypertension or metabolic disease should considering having their carb intake lower to prevent the inflammatory damage and artery hardening effects of insulin.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:47 AM

http://www.answerfitness.com/237/creatine-high-blood-pressure-fitness-nerd/ http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/fs_new/10factsabtaframerkd.cfm

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Just looked at your username and you have a Paleo blog and are from the 925. Ahhhh!! You are correct about some of your assumptions but please don't add your dogma to it.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:46 AM

"While the literature on creatine has found it generally safe for use among healthy adults, there are a number of reported side-effects associated with creatine supplementation. And guess what? One of them is high blood pressure."....African-American men ages 30 to 39 are about 14 times more likely to develop kidney failure due to high blood pressure than Caucasian men in the same age group.1" Looks like high creatine levels, whether form diet or supplements is not good & can lead to high blood pressure which can lead to kidney failure.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397
1165 · June 23, 2010 at 4:36 AM

Well your stats on African Americans should not bring him comfort. African Americans experience kidney failure 4xs as much as Caucasians http://www.nkdep.nih.gov/news/campaign/african_americans.htm

18142e3c7afbe464f2f9cc5da511e4bd
30 · January 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

China dominates the Olympics because the state scouts young children from kindergarten age and then dumps an obscene amount of money on their military style / reward and punishment based training. This is the primary reason why China can't win medals in team sports since sticks and carrots creates a narrowly oriented athlete that really can't handle the mental complexities involved in co-operative sports. On a side note, education is also terrible here and is the primary reason they can only rip-off / copy and not create.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34
3703 · January 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Very keen Craig

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1
11478 · June 23, 2010 at 4:51 AM

@ Morgan, what you have here is a single normal (albeit high-normal) screening test value (serum creatinine). I would not be concerned at all at this point. Worsening kidney function is characterized by RISING creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) test values, so a trend would be important.

I would expect a paleo lifestyle to be beneficial overall to kidney function, because it improves/prevents risk factors for chronic renal failure such as blood sugar/diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and autoimmune diseases ( http://www.emedicinehealth.com/chronic_kidney_disease/page2_em.htm ). Fish oil supplements, used by many paleos, may be beneficial in some kidney conditions ( http://www.oilofpisces.com/kidneydisorders.html ). Also, vitamin D supplements may help to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure ( http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/researchHypertension.shtml ).

While it is not proven that a paleo diet with fish oil and vitamin D supplements will always prevent kidney problems, it almost certainly is better than a grain-laden, pro-inflammatory SAD.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10
5838 · May 12, 2011 at 7:41 AM

@Ed - Can you take a look at my post here? http://paleohacks.com/questions/21446/got-some-lab-results-back-any-suggestions-updated-5-10-11-added-vap-doc-wor#axzz1M3TfUQzB It seems I have a rising trend in Creatinine and BUN. Are there any ways to reverse this? Is there anything else in the labs that stand out? Any info is greatly appreciated

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0 · November 14, 2012 at 7:04 PM

creatinine and urea high. coud it be due to paleo diet?

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63 · December 16, 2011 at 1:35 AM

1.)That is a normal serum creatinine. 2.) If you are living a fairly disciplined paleo life style your serum creatinine should go up. 3.) There is only onepractical way to accurately measure renal function; a 24 hour urine for creatinine clearance. 4.) No protien in your urine would also be reassuring.

Trust me,

I know.

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0
0 · June 24, 2010 at 2:16 PM

your body also takes creatine from meat

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78422 · June 23, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Do you have a week's worth of meals and fluid intake? It's hard to blame paleo if we don't know what that means for you. Also remember that the results you see are of "average" ranges. Talk to a naturopath or an MD who practices Integrative Medicine if you want to understand what the "optimal ranges" are. Those do take into consideration gender, age, race/ethnicity.

The average is truly a population average and may have no bearing on your propensity for disorders, disregulation, or disease.

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