Health In Focus
  • Chronic kidney disease is a progressive loss of the kidney function
  • Dietary sodium restriction reduces albuminuria (albumin in urine) in patients with chronic kidney disease
  • The combination of a drug called paricalcitol and a low sodium diet resulted in the lowest albuminuria levels in patients

Low intake of salt may improve kidney and heart health in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), claims a new study. CKD, also known as the chronic renal disease, is a slow progressive loss of kidney function. The hallmark symptoms of CKD are urinary excretion of proteins (proteinuria) and albumin (albuminuria). Therapies that reduce albuminuria can have beneficial effects on the heart, blood vessels and slow the decline in kidney function. However, currently available treatments do not eliminate albuminuria in most of the patients, and are likely to have residual albuminuria.

Low-Sodium Reduces Residual Albuminuria

A team of researchers from The University Medical Center Groningen, in Netherlands, studied two interventions that have demonstrated the potential for reducing residual albuminuria. The two interventions are dietary sodium restriction and a drug called paricalcitol that activates the vitamin D receptor.
Low Sodium Diet may Help Protect Heart Health of Kidney Disease Patients

The research team led by Martin de Borst, MD, PhD, conducted a randomized trial involving 45 patients with CKD. Each intervention was added to the conventional treatment regimen for a period of eight weeks.

At the end of the clinical trial, the researchers found that dietary sodium restriction significantly reduced residual albuminuria and blood pressure. However, the drug paricalcitol had no significant effect on these measures. The researchers noted that the combination of a low-sodium diet and paricalcitol resulted in the lowest albuminuria levels.

"What we found was that sodium restriction provided a relatively large beneficial effect, whereas the effect of paricalcitol was small. Thus, the impact of the combined intervention was largely due to the protective effect of sodium restriction," said Dr. de Borst.

According to the World Health Association, an average person can consume 2 grams of sodium per day. But, most of the people consume twice as much as the recommended intake.

"In our study, patients consumed on average 4 grams of sodium per day, which is well in line with global trends in sodium consumption among CKD patients," said Dr. de Borst.

"Interestingly, following our intervention aimed at reduced sodium intake, patients consumed 2.5 grams per day, which is still above the recommended level. This moderate restriction resulted in a sharp reduction in albuminuria and blood pressure, indicating that even a moderate reduction in sodium intake may provide serious health benefits."

The article, entitled, "The effect of vitamin D receptor activation and dietary sodium restriction on residual albuminuria in chronic kidney disease: the ViRTUE-CKD randomized controlled trial," appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Chronic Kidney Disease Statistics
  • About 10 % of the world's population have CKD, which claims millions of lives every year due to poor access to treatment.
  • One in 3 Americans is at higher risk of developing kidney disease. About 26 million Americans suffer from some form of kidney disease.
  • China and India are estimated to have the highest number of kidney failure patients.
  • The two major causes of CKD are high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
  • Men with kidney disease are more likely to progress to kidney failure
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Source: Medindia

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