The incidence rate of chronic kidney disease has continued to rise in recent years in the same way that end-stage renal disease keeps increasing. More and more CKD patients are dying. Researchers have found out that dialysis has negative effects and it reduces the quality of life for chronic kidney disease patients. These troubling findings have led researchers to hypothesize that the solution may lie with diet.
One team of researchers decided to study the effects on CKD patients of a low-protein diet supplemented with ketoacids. The researchers chose to carry out this study on CKD patients who had diabetes because CKD patients have high risk of diabetes.
They studied 197 adults with chronic kidney disease. Of these 81 were also diabetic and they became the subjects of the study. The other 116 were not diabetic and they became the control group. None of the patients were on dialysis or immunosuppressant therapies.
The study was carried out over three years in which participants followed a very specific low-protein diet supplemented with ketoacids, amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids.
Each participant was given a nutrition plan and was guided and monitored by a dietician. As a result, the nutrition plan for each one was individualized and refined as necessary over the three-year period. To make sure they got it right, the participants attended an orientation program in which they were given a list of equivalent foods and a number of recipes. They were also shown meal plan options.
The participants continued to receive guidance from their dieticians throughout the study. Blood samples were tested at specific intervals throughout the study to look at the protein and nutrient levels in the body. The researchers found that:
- The quality of life for the CKD patients improved and continued to improve over the three-year period as a result of the low-protein diet.
- The diabetic patients did not find it necessary to increase their insulin dosage throughout the three-year study.
- In fact, the resting glucose levels for the diabetics had decreased to levels close to normal.
- Overall, the diet controlled both CKD and diabetes at metabolic level.
- Diabetic patients improved their muscle mass and lost weight over the duration of the study.
- Many diabetic patients even decreased their insulin dosage but the details of that were handled by their physicians.
This study showed that practicing a low-protein diet supplemented with ketoacids is safe and it can effectively improve the health and quality of life for CKD patients suffering from diabetes.
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