Meat Diet & Kidney Function

Meat Diet & Kidney Function Research Paper

Meat Diet & Kidney Function

The research paper below, titled ‘Prolonged Meat Diets with a Study of Kidney Function and Ketosis’, was undertaken in 1930 and gives some insight into the risks of an animal-based diet in relation to kidney function.


Two normal men volunteered to live solely on meat for one year, giving us an unusual opportunity to study this diet’s effects. The term “meat,” as used by us, included both the lean and the fat portions of animals. The subjects derived most of their calories from fat, and the diet was quite different from what one, who uses the term “meat” as including chiefly lean muscle, would expect.

Rubner (1903) called attention to the fact that a man cannot live on meat alone because of the physical limitation of the mastication apparatus. He was considering only lean meat as fat offers little difficulty.

It is well known that the Eskimos have lived on an almost exclusive meat diet for generations. Certain explorers in the North also have subsisted for long periods on meat. Dr Vilhjalmur Stefansson, in particular, has demonstrated that it is feasible for travellers in the arctic region to “live off the country,” which means living on meat alone (McClellan & Du Bois, 1930).