Chronic kidney disease patients with too much acid build-up can protect their kidneys by adding more fruits and vegetables in their diet, says a new finding.
Western diets that are based in animal and grain products are highly acidic and can lead to metabolic acidosis, when too much acid builds up in the body, a condition that can cause rapid breathing, confusion and lethargy. Severe cases can lead to shock or death.
This is particularly common in patients with CKD because the kidneys are responsible for removing acid through the urine, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports.
"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 Donald Wesson.
"Our study suggests that these interventions will help maintain kidney health in those with kidney disease," added Nimrit Goraya.
Both are from Texas A&M College of Medicine. Their co-authors include Jan Simoni and Chan-Hee Jo. CKD is the slow loss of kidney function over time, such as removing wastes and excess water from the body, according to a Texas statement.
Among the major findings: Kidney function was similar between the two groups involved in the study, after one year.
Although fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and might raise blood potassium to dangerous levels, levels did not increase in either group.