New Study Highlights Fruits’ Benefits For Those On Dialysis

New research shows benefits of consuming fruit while on hemodialysis. Dialysis is a process where the blood is filtered of wastes and toxins by a machine. This procedure is done for chronic kidney disease patients who have lost the function of their kidneys or whose kidney functions are significantly reduced.

In the recent study, patients who increased their fruit intake had much less constipation than those who did not. The research was carried out by Rafaela G. dos Santos, RD, of the nutrition department, Centro de Tratamento de Doenças Renais, and colleagues. Their goal was to provide nutritional counciling to chronic kidney disease patients and specifically focus on ways to increase fiber intake.

During their research, they found constipation to be a benign and self-manageable condition, though this caused it to be overlooked in chronic kidney disease patients. They found patients with chronic kidney disease tended to avoid high fiber foods in order to prevent hyperkalemia. Researchers looked at 305 patients from four dialysis centers, giving them all questionnaires assessing their constipation status.

Questionnaires also looked at lifestyle habits and information regarding any other medication they were taking. They were given another questionnaire asking about their main sources of fiber. The information was used to generate a score. Of the 305 participants, 30.5% had constipation.

These patients tended to be significantly older, with lower literacy, a high prevalence of diabetes and a lower total beverage intake than those without constipation. Researchers also found the presence of diabetes and fruits intake score to be independent predictors of constipation. This leading them to decide a higher intake of fruits has the potential to decrease constipation in patients on hemodialysis.

Researchers did suggest that nutritional counseling and recommendations were a big factor. Cultural dietary habits along with individual preferences and access to educational channels also play a role in the food choices people make. Are you unsure about what you should be eating while dealing with kidney problems? Take a look at our comprehensive diet guide, available in the shop.