Diet plays an important role in the health of patients with chronic kidney disease, even after transplantation.
Research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology states that following the Mediterranean diet may help kidney transplant recipients maintain normal kidney function.
What types of food are associated with a Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet focuses on high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil together with lower intake of dairy and meat products.
These food groups are considered to help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease or diabetes after kidney transplantation. However, according to the article, whether the diet is also associated with kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients is unknown.
What does this mean?
Despite improvements in the survival of transplanted kidneys in the early years after transplantation, loss of kidney function within 10 years still occurs in more than one-third of recipients. Identifying modifiable risk factors may help to improve organ survival.
What are the facts behind this theory?
The lead doctor, António Gomes-Neto, MD, and and his colleagues provided a food-related questionnaire to adult kidney transplant recipients from their medical center who had a functioning donor kidney for at least one year.
During an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 119 of the 632 participants in the study experienced kidney function decline (76 of whom developed kidney failure). The Mediterranean Diet Score was inversely associated with kidney function decline and kidney failure.
Dr. Gomes-Neto explains increasing scientific evidence has demonstrated health benefits of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular and kidney health. He also states that kidney transplant recipients with higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet are less likely to experience function loss of their kidney transplant.
For more information, visit https://www.kidneynews.org/kidney-news/current-issue/mediterranean-diet-may-help-preserve-kidney-function-in-transplant-recipients