Influence of dietary protein on glomerular filtration before and after bariatric surgery: A cohort study

Allon N. Friedman, Sara K. Quinney, Margaret Inman, Samer G. Mattar, Zak Shihabi, Sharon Moe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Obesity-associated elevations in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are common and may play a role in the development of kidney disease, so identifying the underlying mechanism is important. We therefore studied whether reductions in dietary protein intake, which is known to modulate GFR, explain why GFR decreases after bariatric surgery-induced weight loss. Study Design Cohort study with participants as their own controls. Setting & Participants 8 severely obese patients with normal kidney function were recruited from bariatric surgery centers in Indianapolis, IN. All participants were placed on a fixed-protein (50-g/d) diet for 1 week before and after a minimum of a 20-kg weight loss by bariatric surgery and were followed up closely by dieticians for adherence. Predictor Ad lib versus low-protein diet before versus after bariatric surgery. Outcome Measured GFR, using repeated-measures analysis, was used to estimate the independent effects of diet and surgery. Measurement GFR was measured using plasma iohexol clearance. Results A median of 32.9 (range, 19.5-54.4) kg was lost between the first presurgery visit and first postsurgery visit. Dietetic evaluations and urinary urea excretion confirmed that patients generally adhered to the study diet. GFRs on an ad lib diet were significantly higher before compared to after surgery (GFR medians were 144 (range, 114-178) and 107 (range, 85-147) mL/min, respectively; P = 0.01). Although bariatric surgery (-26 mL/min; P = 0.005) and dietary sodium intake (+7.5 mL/min per 100 mg of dietary sodium; P = 0.001) both influenced GFR, consuming a low-protein diet did not (P = 0.7). Limitations Small sample size; mostly white women; possible lack of generalizability. Conclusions The decrease in GFR observed after bariatric surgery is explained at least in part by the effects of surgery and/or dietary sodium intake, but not by low dietary protein consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-603
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Obesity
  • bariatric surgery
  • diet
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • glomerular hyperfiltration
  • kidney
  • protein
  • renal function
  • weight reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of dietary protein on glomerular filtration before and after bariatric surgery: A cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this