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Abstract: TH-PO612

Exploration of Dietary Protein Intake and Skeletal Muscle Mass and Function in Non-Dialysis CKD

Session Information

Category: Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism

  • 1300 Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism


  • Gore, Eleanor F., University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Wilkinson, Thomas James, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Smith, Alice C., University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom

Group or Team Name

  • Leicester Kidney Lifestyle Team

CKD patients are characterized by skeletal muscle wasting and poor physical function. Poor nutritional intake (of protein and energy) contributes to muscle wasting and loss of physical function in ESRD. However, the role of dietary protein in non-dialysis CKD remains topical. In healthy older adults, higher protein intake protects against sarcopenia and improves physical function. Recent studies suggest restricted protein intake is associated with loss of muscle mass in CKD but these are limited and the non-dialysis CKD population remains insufficiently researched. This study evaluated the relationship between protein intake, muscle mass, and physical function.


Average daily protein intake (g/kg) for 30 non-dialysis CKD patients (50% male, age 62.8±10.8, eGFR 36.9±20.5) was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. Participants were categorised as having low protein intake defined by WHO and KDIGO recommendations (<0.8g/kg/day). Total skeletal muscle mass % was measured by bioelectric impedance analysis and rectus femoris muscle size by ultrasound cross-sectional area (CSA). Physical function was assessed using gait speed, handgrip strength, and the short physical performance battery (SPPB). Differences between groups were explored using linear regression (adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity).


Higher protein intake (≥0.8g/kg/day) was associated with a 15% greater muscle mass, 24% larger rectus femoris CSA, and 11-20% greater lower limb physical function in non-dialysis CKD (see Table 1).


This work suggests a higher dietary protein intake protects against muscle wasting which, in turn, preserves physical function in this group. Further research is required to confirm these findings which suggest efforts to increase protein intake in this group may confer favourable effects on muscle and functional preservation.

 <0.8g/kg/day≥0.8g/kg/dayP Value
Body mass (kg)94.0 (±23.2)81.5 (±17.8).002*
Skeletal muscle mass (%)33.6 (±5.4)38.7 (±6.0).008*
Rectus femoris CSA (cm2)7.5 (±2.7)9.3 (±3.2).050
Gait speed (m/s)1.0 (±0.2)1.2 (±0.3).042*
Handgrip strength (kg)27.4 (±12.0)32.0 (±11.0).417
SPPB (score)9.8 (±1.8)10.9 (±1.7).014

Table 1


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