Fruits And Vegetables May Help Protect Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease
    By News Staff | February 8th 2013 12:31 PM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Adding fruits and vegetables to diets may help protect the kidneys of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with too much acid build-up, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). This is good news, since it has also been shown that frequent dialysis poses risks for kidney patients.

    Western diets based on animal and grain products are highly acidic and can lead to metabolic acidosis, when too much acid builds up in the body, a condition particularly common in patients with

    chronic kidney disease

    because the kidneys are responsible for removing acid through the urine. Metabolic acidosis can cause rapid breathing, confusion, and lethargy. Severe cases can lead to shock or death.

    Alkali supplementation therapy such as bicarbonate is used to treat

    chronic kidney disease

    patients with severe metabolic acidosis, but simply adding more fruits and vegetables, which contain alkali. to the diet might also help.

    Nimrit Goraya, MD, Donald Wesson, MD (Texas A&M College of Medicine) and their colleagues tested this by randomizing 71 patients with hypertensive stage 4 CKD to receive added fruits and vegetables or an oral alkaline medication for one year. The treatments were dosed to decrease dietary acid by half.

    Among the major findings:

    • Kidney function was similar between the two groups after one year.

    • One-year plasma total carbon dioxide (PTCO2) increased in both groups, which is consistent with a lessening of metabolic acidosis. PTCO2 was higher in patients receiving bicarbonate than in those receiving added fruits and vegetables.

    • Urine measurements of kidney injury were lower after one year in both groups.

    • Although fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and might raise blood potassium to dangerous levels, levels did not increase in either group.

    "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," said Dr. Wesson. "Our study suggests that these interventions will help maintain kidney health in those with kidney disease," added Dr. Goraya.

    In an accompanying editorial, Muhammad Yaqoob, MD (Bartshealth NHS Trust and William Harvey Research Institute, in London) noted that the study is likely to have a limited impact on clinical practice. "A small group of highly motivated patients wishing to reduce their pill burden through dietary modification may benefit from the results of this study. However, many patients find it difficult to follow a diet high in fruits and vegetables and might therefore be more adherent to a supplement," he wrote.


    Science used to help cure patients undergoing any type of sickness is always interesting to me. In this particular blog Chronic Kidney Disease is discussed. While reading this blog it made a lot of sense to me that fruits and vegetables would reduce the amount of acid in the system by counteracting it with alkaline's in return fighting to improve Kidney disease. After deliberating about this idea it occurred to me that this blog forgot to mention that there are many fruits and vegetables that can also cause rates of acid to rise. Some of these include Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cranberries and plums. Patients who have Chronic Kidney Disease could potentially worsen their sickness by increasing their amount of vegetables and fruits that are actually acidic. Some of the foods these people would want to be increasing instead would be avocados, dates, and raisins. By consuming more fruits and vegetables that counteract the acid component and increase alkaline levels may improve this disease.