- Following a healthy plant-based diet can lower the risk of developing chronic kidney disease
- Plant-based diet could help improve peopleís health and slow the decline of kidney function
Eating a diet based on nutrient-rich plants may help decrease the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The findings of the study are published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
The consumption of plant-based diets is becoming more common for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. The quality of plant sources of food can differ, however, with nutrient-rich plants being more healthful and plants that are high in refined carbohydrates being less healthful.
Emerging evidence suggests that the risk of chronic conditions varies by types of plant-based diets.
Among the major findings:
- During a median follow-up of 24 years, 4,343 new cases of CKD occurred
- Participants with the highest adherence to a healthy plant-based diet had a 14% lower risk of developing CKD than participants with the lowest adherence to a healthy plant-based diet
- Participants with the highest adherence to a less healthy plant-based diet had an 11% higher risk of developing CKD than participants with the lowest adherence to a less healthy plant-based diet
- The association between plant-based diets and CKD risk was especially pronounced for participants who had a normal weight at the start of the study
- Higher adherence to an overall plant-based diet and a healthy plant-based diet was associated with slower kidney function decline
"For kidney disease risk, it appears to be important to choose healthy options for plant sources of food, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes," said Dr. Rebholz.
"Also, our finding of a significant interaction by weight status at baseline suggests that following a healthy eating pattern may be particularly beneficial before becoming overweight or obese."†
In an accompanying Patient Voice editorial, Patrick Gee describes his dietary experiences as a person who spent 4.5 years on peritoneal dialysis and is now approximately two years into a kidney transplant. He found plant-based diets to be lacking in several areas and has settled on the ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat, and moderate in protein.†