Effect of beef ingestion by humans on plasma concentrations of creatinine, urea, and cystatin C.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

PURPOSE: The effect of eating meat on serum concentrations of creatinine has varied among previous reports, with some finding no effect and others finding 50-100% increases, which appears related to how the beef is cooked. For other analytes related to kidney function, urea is well known to increase following a protein meal, and the effect of eating meat on cystatin C concentrations has been studied once. METHODS: We had 32 participants eat a measured amount of cooked beef (5-6 or 10-12 oz; 142-170 or 284-340 g) and collected blood for measurements at 1 h before and immediately before eating beef, then at 1, 2, and 4 h after eating the beef. We measured creatinine using both alkaline picrate and enzymatic methods, cystatin C using a nephelometric immunoassay, and urea using an enzymatic method. RESULTS: For creatinine, both the picrate and enzymatic methods showed similar responses, with a peak average increases of 5.9 μmol/L (0.07 mg/dL) and 4.6 μmol/L (0.05 mg/dL), respectively, at 2 h. Cystatin C had a very slightly maximal decrease of -0.037 mg/L at 2 h. Urea had the largest change, increasing by 0.30 and 0.77 mmol/L at 2 and 4 h respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Healthy individuals were found to have minor increases in serum creatinine (~5 μmol/L) following the ingestion of 5/6 or 10/12 oz of fried beef. Cystatin C appears to decrease very slightly in some people after beef ingestion, possibly due either to circadian variation or to a hormonal effect of eating. We conclude that ingesting these amounts of fried beef has a small effect on plasma creatinine concentrations. Although these increases would likely not affect the diagnosis of a kidney impairment in this population or in those with kidney disease, eating meat before collecting blood for creatinine measurement should be avoided.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Toffaletti, JG; Hammett-Stabler, C; Handel, EA

Published Date

  • August 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 58 /

Start / End Page

  • 26 - 31

PubMed ID

  • 29842868

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-2933

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2018.05.016


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States