Maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent kidney disease, according to an analysis of published studies. The findings appear in an upcoming issue CJASN.
Making dietary changes can slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), but it is unclear whether a healthy diet protects against the development of the disease. To study this, Dr. Jaimon Kelly, Katrina Bach (Bond University, Australia) and their colleagues reviewed all relevant studies published until February 2019.
The analysis included 18 studies involving a total of 630 108 adults who were followed for an average of 10.4 years. Healthy eating patterns usually encouraged greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, fish and low-fat dairy products, as well as lower consumption of red and processed meat, sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages.
A healthy diet was associated with a 30% lower incidence of CKD. It was also associated with a 23% lower incidence of albuminuria, an early indicator of kidney damage.
"These results complement the accumulating database confirming the potential benefits of using a healthy diet – for example, the Mediterranean, DASH diet or national dietary guidelines – and basic prevention of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, cancer and all-cause mortality, "said Dr. Kelly. "These results can help develop public health prevention programs for CKD that can help reduce the burden of disease." Dr. Kelly noted that a dietary approach to kidney health targeted at individual (or multiple) nutrients can be difficult, but focusing on whole foods rather than nutrients can help doctors educate patients and make them easier.
"Randomized clinical trials with sufficient observation time to determine significant renal results are necessary to determine whether a change in dietary patterns is causally related to favorable renal health outcomes," the authors of the accompanying article wrote. "Meanwhile, there may be sufficient observational evidence for clinicians to stress the importance of healthy eating patterns for healthy people or those at risk of developing CKD."
The accompanying editorial Patient Voice notes the importance of including children in future research.
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Materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Content can be edited by style and length.