EATING high protein diets – popular with celebrities –  increases the risk of kidney disease, say researchers at the University of Granada.

Controversial high protein diets such as the Dukan diet, developed by former French GP Pierre Dukan, also involve minimal starch and carbohydrates.

The study revealed that people on the Dukan diet – popular with celebs such as Jennifer Lopez and Kate Middleton’s Mother Carole – are more likely to develop kidney stones.

Scientists gave ten rats a 45% protein diet and another ten a normal diet over a period of 12 weeks, which is the equivalent of nine years in human terms.

Although the high-protein-fed rats lost 10% of their body weight, they also had 88% lower levels of urinary citrate and their urine was 15% more acidic, putting them at a much greater risk of kidney stones.

Dr Virginia Aparicio, of the University of Granada, said the effects of the Dukan diet can be offset by eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables.