Can Ketogenic Diet Reverse Kidney Damage?

EATING food that lowers blood sugar has been proven to prevent kidney failure. However, a new study found that kidney failure can be reversed.

The new research was conducted at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City focusing on high fat “ketogenic” diet that may actually reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes.

It showed that mice who were fed a high-fat diet of five percent carbohydrate, eight percent protein and 87 percent fat – were the first to show dietary intervention, enough to reverse kidney failure caused by diabetes. Is it really possible?

Some doctors doubt the potential of ketogenic diet on kidney disease patients since there are stages where reversibility is impossible.

One medical expert in transplant surgery, metabolic and nutrition services said the study may only give hope to patients especially those on end-stage renal disease. It is not recommendable for the meantime to patients on dialysis.

Dr. Dolet Bonzon, former chairman of Physiology department of the UP College of Medicine believes that kidney damage can only be reversed through dialysis or kidney transplant.
The human kidney contains millions of tiny blood vessels that act as filters – removing waste products from the blood. Failing kidneys lose their ability to filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease.

The study author Prof Charles Mobbs said theirs is the first to show that a dietary intercession alone is sufficient to reverse this grave complication of diabetes. However, clinical trials need to be done to determine the accuracy.

They believe this finding is significant because it could affect everyone diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure. On the other hand, ketogenic diet is tough to do.
Ketogenic diet is high in fat and protein, with zero carbohydrates to force the body into a state of ketosis whereby ketones are used as a fuel source rather than glucose. This has been used to treat epilepsy and for weight loss. Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism or fat burning.

For now, dialysis or kidney transplant is the solution for kidney failure.
A person 50 years old or above who has hypertension, diabetes, is overweight or a smoker faces increased risk of kydney disease, according to Dr. Agnes Mejia, kidney and hypertension specialist and Chair of the Department of Medicine, University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital.

Controlling blood pressure slows the progression of chronic kidney disease and makes it less likely that a patient will require dialysis or suffer a heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.

Even a mild rise in pressure can quickly worsen kidney disease. Aside from controlling blood pressure, losing weight, eating less salt, avoiding alcohol and tobacco and getting regular exercise are also very important.

(source: Journal Online)
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