Can Soy Be An Effective Meat Substitute For Those With Kidney Disease?

Foods that are supposed to cause considerable damage to kidneys are under watch.

New research says that red meat consumption raises the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This information comes to us from a study conducted by researchers from a university in Iran. They said substituting red meat with plant dietary protein sources was found to reduce the threat to damage of kidneys.

The research led by Parvin Mirmiran of the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences found a definite link between the source of dietary proteins and the progression of kidney disease.

They also developed data that reinforced this connection between malfunctioning of the kidneys and higher consumption of animal protein in contrast to plant protein. In the study, the Iranian researchers accorded more value to plant-based protein sources in terms of salvaging kidney health.

The researchers from the Nutrition and Endocrine Research Center noted that meat was correlated more often with negative health outcomes, in sharp contrast to the “favorable effects” of plant-based proteins stemming from nuts, whole grains, and legumes.

The scholars, while acknowledging the skewed availability of data on the positive effects of plant-based protein on kidney ailments when substituted for meat protein also noted a lack of broad statistics about the incidence of CKD in developing nations.

To illustrate their hypothesis, Mirmiran and colleagues administered a food-frequency questionnaire to 4,881 adults not affected by CKD. The audience members were participants in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study with a mean age of 40.1 years with 47% of these being women.

The inference could establish a correlation between red meat intake and CKD based on empirical estimates from the quantified impact when one red meat serving was substituted with one serving of whole grains, low-fat dairy, legumes or nuts.

The researchers noted the pattern. The average total intake of red meat has been 1.17 servings per day in the data that had adjustments for age, total energy intake, BMI, sex, triglycerides, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and physical activity.

In the follow-up after the 3-year mark, they found a CKD incidence rate of 12.6 percent with a 71 percent increased risk (odds ratio was 1.73) based on total intake of red meat in the highest quartile versus those falling in the lowest quartile).

It found the greater risk from the intake of processed red meat with a 99 percent higher CKD risk (OR at 1.99) for participants lying in the highest bracket compared to those in the lowest quartiles.

Analysis revealed that in the replacement of one serving of unprocessed red meat with the plant-based protein of the same amount by low-fat dairy, nuts, whole grains and legumes, there was a declining risk of CKD by the following percentages—17 percent, 16 percent, 21percent, and 19 percent, respectively.

The data also showed that replacing one daily serving of unprocessed red meat with whole grains and nuts resulted in a 15 percent and 13.9 percent fall in CKD expansion.

The researchers also offered data regarding substituting one serving of processed red meat with the same volume of poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. The resultant data of decreasing odds of CKD infection was found to be 28, 39, 26, 28, 30, and 31 percent respectively.

According to the researchers, the reduction in CKD risk with greater intake of plant-based foods could be accounted for from the effects on cardiometabolic risk factors such as blood pressure, endothelial function, ameliorated blood lipid profiles, insulin hemostasis, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress.

They also highlighted the merits of plant-based sources of proteins in terms of the higher content of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium that are linked to lower dietary acid load and normally facilitate better kidney functioning.

Regarding the positive effect from the intake of fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, the researchers found a protective effect against CKD coming from the removal of red meat and consequent improvements in fatty acid profile and reduced excretion of urinary albumin.

Soy Protein And Kidney Disease

Now the findings bring to center stage the importance of soy protein in improving renal functions compared to animal protein amply illustrated by any studies on animals and humans.

Soy protein’s numerous benefits as a substitute for animal protein are supported by the following findings on its role in the prevention and control of CKD.

The main question on soy is why it so unique for renal concerns. The answer lies in its position as a hub of many nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibers, vegetable protein, oligosaccharides, isoflavones, and minerals.

But which compound is precisely responsible for its therapeutic effects on renal organs has remained a gray area. Soy’s beneficial effect is generally credited to the component called isoflavones for its renoprotective effects. One possibility is the hydrolyzing of isoflavones by bacterial β-glucosidases and its transformation to the bioactive compound Genistein and Daidzein in the intestinal tissues.

Also, a topic of focus are the antioxidant properties which block the formation of free radicals that enhance nitric oxide accessibility and the dissimilarities between the amino acids present in animal and soy protein sources.

Soy is richer in Arginine and glycine than it is in animal protein. This duo is crucial for the Vasodilatory processes. The lower content of phosphorous and sodium in soy protein compared to animal protein is also a big plus.

Another possible mechanism with soy is the effect of soy protein on IGF-1, the chief regulator of renal remodeling. Studies have indicated soy protein reduces the circulation of renal IGF-1.

Soy protein with its beneficial effects on glucose and blood lipid levels also helps to mitigate kidney risks. Medical evidence suggests Uremia, often seen in ckd, can cause intestinal dysbiosis in people suffering from kidney disease.

Research says the Dysbiotic gut microbiome is a possible variable that accelerates CKD and CKD-related complications. The good news is that soy’s chemical composition can annul the gut microbiome problems that promote renal disease.

Try some soy foods today such as tofu and tempuh and include them up to three times per week. 

For more information about how to live your life with the healthiest kidneys possible, be sure to read following other articles on our website!

Is A Vegetarian Diet For Kidney Disease Good, Bad or Deadly? 

Soy Is A Kidney’s Good Friend! And Science Says So!

Diabetic? Trying This Drink Could Prevent Diabetic Kidney Disease