Protecting Kidneys with Fruits and Veggies!
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – What you eat may be as helpful as some medications when it comes to protecting your kidneys. Researchers from Texas A&M College of Medicine found that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces metabolic acidosis and kidney injury in patients with late stage chronic kidney disease as effectively as the typical treatment, alkali supplementation therapy.
For one year researchers gave 71 patients with hypertensive stage four chronic kidney disease an oral alkaline medication or increased the amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. The patients’ plasma total carbon dioxide, shortened to PTCO2, was then measured to determine if metabolic acidosis had decreased.
Metabolic acidosis is a common problem amongst chronic kidney disease patients and occurs when too much acid exists in the body. Acid usually leaves the body by way of urine, but with lowered kidney function many CKD patients’ bodies are unable to get rid of extra acid. The acid build-up leads to metabolic acidosis, which can cause rapid breathing, confusion, and lethargy.
Metabolic acidosis was not the only factor tested in the new study. Researchers also followed participants’ kidney injuries through urine samples.
The results of the study suggested that both oral alkaline medication and increased intake of fruits and vegetables will help to protect the kidneys of CKD patients through lowering metabolic acidosis as well as kidney injuries.
"We showed that by addition of alkali such as bicarbonate or alkali-inducing fruits and vegetables, patients had a favorable response by reduction of urinary kidney injury markers," researcher Donald Wesson, M.D., was quoted as saying.
But switching over to a new diet filled with fruits and vegetables may not be a plausible solution for everyone with chronic kidney disease. An editorial accompanying this study makes the point that diet changes may be more of a burden to some than taking medication orally and those who wish to avoid pills must be determined to stick to the new diet.
Whichever method a person prefers, this study provides an alternative choice for people with chronic kidney disease that many will be happy to try.
Source: Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, February 2013