1. Eight recurrent renal stone-forming patients were housed in a metabolic ward and fed on a low (LPD) and a high (HPD) animal protein diet, which were isoenergetic. Metabolic studies were made after 2 weeks on each diet.
2. There was a 90% increase in urinary urate on HPD compared with LPD, whereas serum urate did not change consistently.
3. The urinary acid excretion increased by 200%, including a 100% increase in ammonium ion excretion. A fall in urine pH by 0.9 unit was also seen.
4. The calculated ion activities of the urines revealed a profound increase in the uric acid supersaturation, from undersaturation to supersaturation, and in some cases even surpassing the formation product ratio. The ammonium urate supersaturation also increased. The sodium urate supersaturation was unchanged, despite an induced natriuresis.
5. The risk of forming uric acid or ammonium urate crystals or stones in the urine was increased on a high protein diet, whereas the risk of forming sodium urate crystals was no greater than on a low protein diet.
6. As uric acid and ammonium urate crystals under certain conditions may adsorb a macromolecular fraction of the human urine, which inhibits calcium oxalate crystal growth, it is proposed that this mechanism, along with a decrease in urine pH, may also interfere with the inhibitory activity of calcium oxalate crystal growth and aggregation.