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Reexamining the Phosphorus-Protein Dilemma: Does Phosphorus Restriction Compromise Protein Status?

  • Author(s): St-Jules, David E
  • Woolf, Kathleen
  • Pompeii, Mary Lou
  • Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar
  • Sevick, Mary Ann
  • et al.
Abstract

Dietary phosphorus restriction is recommended to help control hyperphosphatemia in hemodialysis patients, but many high-phosphorus foods are important sources of protein. In this review, we examine whether restricting dietary phosphorus compromises protein status in hemodialysis patients. Although dietary phosphorus and protein are highly correlated, phosphorus intakes can range up to 600 mg/day for a given energy and protein intake level. Furthermore, the collinearity of phosphorus and protein may be biased because the phosphorus burden of food depends on: (1) the presence of phosphate additives, (2) food preparation method, and (3) bioavailability of phosphorus, which are often unaccounted for in nutrition assessments. Ultimately, we argue that clinically relevant reductions in phosphorus intake can be made without limiting protein intake by avoiding phosphate additives in processed foods, using wet cooking methods such as boiling, and if needed, substituting high-phosphorus foods for nutritionally equivalent foods that are lower in bioavailable phosphorus.

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