Dietary Protein-Induced Increases in Urinary Calcium Are Accompanied by Similar Increases in Urinary Nitrogen and Urinary Urea: A Controlled Clinical Trial

Jessica D. Bihuniak, Christine A. Simpson, Rebecca R. Sullivan, Donna M. Caseria, Jane E. Kerstetter, Karl L. Insogna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine the usefulness of urinary urea as an index of dietary protein intake, 10 postmenopausal women were enrolled in and completed a randomized, double-blind, cross-over feeding trial from September 2008 to May 2010 that compared 10 days of a 45-g whey supplement with 10 days of a 45-g maltodextrin control. Urinary nitrogen, urinary calcium, urinary urea, and bone turnover markers were measured at days 0, 7, and 10. Paired sample t tests, Pearson's correlation statistic, and simple linear regression were used to assess differences between treatments and associations among urinary metabolites. Urinary nitrogen/urinary creatinine rose from 12.3±1.7 g/g (99.6±13.8 mmol/mmol) to 16.8±2.2 g/g (135.5±17.8 mmol/mmol) with whey supplementation, but did not change with maltodextrin. Whey supplementation caused urinary calcium to rise by 4.76±1.84 mg (1.19±0.46 mmol) without a change in bone turnover markers. Because our goal was to estimate protein intake from urinary nitrogen/urinary creatinine, we used our data to develop the following equation: protein intake (g/day)=71.221+1.719×(urinary nitrogen, g)/creatinine, g) (R=0.46, R2=0.21). As a more rapid and less costly alternative to urinary nitrogen/urinary creatinine, we next determined whether urinary urea could predict protein intake and found that protein intake (g/day)=63.844+1.11×(urinary urea, g/creatinine, g) (R=0.58, R2=0.34). These data indicate that urinary urea/urinary creatinine is at least as good a marker of dietary protein intake as urinary nitrogen and is easier to quantitate in nutrition intervention trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume113
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Urinary nitrogen
  • Urinary urea
  • Whey protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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