The Relationship Between Protein Intake and Nutrient Intake

Protein intake varies significantly between cultures, communities, and regions. Food security, culture, and tradition all influence the amount of protein consumed. In developing countries, under-protein intake is common, while over-protein consumption is common in industrialized countries. Certain groups, however, have higher protein requirements than others, such as growing children, pregnant women, and people with increased protein catabolism.


The association between protein intake and nutrient intake has been well-documented and robust for both men and women. This association is consistent among various
nutrients, such as phosphorus, vitamin B-12, zinc, magnesium, and iron.


Protein intake from various sources is crucial to maintaining health and well-being. In general, the recommended amount of dietary protein is 0.8 g protein per kilogram of body weight per day (g/d) for adults. This number should be attained by eating a variety of protein-rich food sources. Many of the commonly consumed sources of protein also provide significant amounts of the other nutrients we need, including vitamin D, potassium, dietary fiber, iron, and folate.

Estimated daily intake

Using urinary creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations, the Isaksson equation can provide estimates of the amount of protein that an individual requires. Protein intake can be calculated by dividing the total dietary protein intake by the ideal body weight of 22.5 kg/m2. This equation yields a range of daily protein intakes for different body weights.

Effects on blood pressure

The study found that animal protein intake is associated with higher blood pressure in men and women, with no difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between the two sexes. This association, however, was not significant among women. The study did not examine the effects of protein intake on cholesterol levels.

Effects on diabetes

If you have diabetes, you probably have wondered if protein intake affects blood glucose levels. Although there is no evidence that protein itself raises blood sugar levels, protein in food may have a role to play in blood sugar control. Protein is one of the three macronutrients that the body needs to maintain and build tissues. It is also essential for the immune system. Protein is also necessary for other physiological processes.

Effects on bones

A growing body of research has focused on the effects of dietary protein on bone health in adults. The Durosier-Izart study, for example, found that animal protein intake enhanced bone microstructure and strength in postmenopausal women. These studies have gained renewed interest from researchers seeking nonpharmacologic methods to maintain bone health in adulthood. Researchers hypothesized that protein intake could enhance bone formation by boosting calcium recruitment.

Effects on kidneys

Research into the effects of protein intake on kidneys has revealed a variety of mixed findings. Some studies have shown an inverse relationship with protein intake and the incidence of stone formation. Others have found a direct correlation. A prospective study of more than 45,000 men found a correlation between protein intake and the risk of stone formation.

Effects on weight

Protein intake has a profound effect on body composition. For the best results, a person should consume 1.2-2.0 g/kg of body weight daily. Although the recommended daily allowance of protein for an adult is 0.8 g/kg of ideal body weight, the average US adult only consumes about 90 grams of protein daily, which is insufficient for active individuals and athletes.