Re-Thinking Protein’s Place In A Healthy Kidney Diet

The findings of meta-analysis and systematic review of 27 controlled clinical trials that were carried out between 1985 and 2016 (a period totaling 31 years) were presented at the National Kidney Foundation 2018 Spring Clinical Meetings held in Austin, Texas recently.

The review found that low protein diets can delay kidney failure and dialysis initiation and even lower mortality risk in patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). This has been found to work best with supervision and monitoring of patients’ diet by the medical team.

The authors of the review looked at the results of 13 trials that studied the effect of protein restriction in delaying the commencement of dialysis and 14 trials that analyzed protein restriction supplemented with keto-analog. They extracted relevant data, analyzed it for bias and used meta-analysis where suitable.

On pooling the analysis, they found that the result of restricted protein in delaying dialysis in adult sufferers of CKD was statistically significant. However, the effect of supplementing protein restriction with keto-analog in adults suffering from advanced CKD (stage 3 or higher) was not clear.

Here Are Some Of The Best Ways To Eat Low Protein

  • Go vegetarian! Even if it’s only one meatless Monday a week, this is by far the best way to get protein down.
  • Use lower protein foods such as milk substitutes for cream soups, or rice or pasta to make soups more filling without using too much protein.
  • Re-think your “main dish” as primarily vegetable and meat only as “side dishes.”

Chronic kidney disease, the gradual loss of kidney function, affects about 30 million Americans and it is one of the leading causes of death among adults. Risk factors for kidney disease include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and family history of kidney failure.

At advanced stages, it is treated with dialysis which artificially filters the blood. Protein restriction diets alone or supplemented with keto-analogs are being used to delay kidney deterioration and the need for dialysis. Keto-analogs build proteins in the body without needing as much work from the kidneys as protein consumption.

The article that details the findings of this study will be published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases