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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What is a BUN test?

Could you please explain to me what BUN is? I had a blood test for it today and would like to know something about it. What foods should I be eating or not eating?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

The blood test that you have had done is Blood Urea Nitrogen. BUN is a very common test and used as an indirect measure of renal (kidney) function. The results of this test do increase slightly with age. Often people will notice that this test result is slightly high and be concerned, but most of the time there's no evidence of any kidney problem.

While there is some evidence that a low protein diet can help prevent further reduction of kidney problems, this is controversial. For mild elevations of BUN such a diet is probably not necessary. The key for most folks is a good, healthy Mediterranean style diet and there is some evidence that this might help prevent decline of kidney function.

Here's a link to help get you started:

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet