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Reported November 24, 2010

Produce-Rich Diet and Melatonin Key For Kidneys

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Kidney disease patients benefit long-term from a produce-rich diet, including fruits and vegetables.  They also get a short-term boost from melatonin.

Patients with kidney disease don’t benefit from the stereotypical Western diet which produces and acidic environment in the body. Nimirit Goraya, MD (Texas A&M College of Medicine and Scott and White Healthcare) and her colleagues conducted a study to see if consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables that counteract this acidity might improve the kidney health of 40 patients who have moderately reduced kidney function due to high blood pressure.

Results showed that 30 days of this diet reduced urine excretion of three indicators of kidney injury: albumin, transforming growth factor, and N-acetyl-ß-D- glucosaminidase. "These preliminary studies support the need for larger long-term studies to determine if this simple and relatively inexpensive intervention helps reduce the risk of subsequent worsening of kidney function in patients with hypertension-associated kidney disease," Dr. Goraya was quoted as saying.

In regards to melatonin, it improves dialysis patients’ sleep hormones effects. Sleep disorders are common in kidney disease patients on dialysis due to a disturbance in their biological clocks. Marije Russcher, PharmD, Birgit Koch, PharmD, PhD, (Meander Medical Center, in Amersfoort, the Netherlands) and colleagues previously found that giving dialysis patients melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, can improve sleep over a short period of time. Now, these researchers have investigated whether the benefits of melatonin on sleep persist over the long term, and if long-term use of melatonin could improve patients' quality of life. 70 dialysis patients received melatonin or a placebo for 1 year. At 3 months, the previously shown beneficial effect of the short-term use of melatonin on sleep onset was confirmed.

The investigators also noted improvement of sleep efficiency and sleep time. In contrast, at 12 months none of the measured sleep parameters differed significantly from placebo. Regarding quality of life, melatonin had a positive effect on social functioning and a trend in improvement of mentality. "We confirmed the short term beneficial effects of melatonin on sleep; however, we found no indication that these beneficial effects persist in long-term usage of melatonin," Ms. Russcher was quoted as saying. "Further research should focus on optimizing melatonin dosage and time of dosing, specifically in kidney patients."

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SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition held in Denver, CO from November 16-21, 2010 


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