Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide epidemic. Twenty-six million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S.
The life-threatening disease is known to be associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. Because of its link to diabetes, researchers in the Netherlands decided to study the impact of diet on kidney function, as a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of diabetes.
For five years, the researchers checked kidney function by monitoring the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 3,787 Dutch participants. At the end of the five years they also determined each participant’s creatinine ratio (ACR). Throughout the study participants self-reported food intake, including typical intake of antioxidant-rich foods; physical activity; blood pressure; alcohol consumption; coffee consumption; body mass index (BMI); education level; and vitamin supplementation. The study included a 15-year follow-up.
According to Medical News Bulletin, the results of this study suggest that intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables does not benefit those with CKD in the same way that it seems to benefit those with diabetes. The researchers found no significant associations between intake of these food groups and ACR or eGFR, although they say that firm conclusions about the impact of food intake on renal function shouldn’t be drawn before further research is conducted. The results of the study were recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Readers who had hoped to protect against kidney injury by changing their diet might instead look in their medicine cabinet. Food intake may not be associated with development of chronic kidney disease, but certain common drugs have been consistently linked to increased risk of CKD and kidney failure. Acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, used to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers, are are taken by more than 20 million Americans in any given year.
A recent meta-analysis analyzing the results of five published studies that looked into the association between PPIs and CKD found that when compared with non-users, PPI users had a 33 percent increased relative risk of developing chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. More and more researchers are warning health care providers to take the PPI kidney disease risk seriously and to limit the duration of PPI therapy to the shortest duration possible and only use the drugs when medically necessary.
Medical News Bulletin