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A recently published study investigated whether low-protein diets are nutritionally safe for individuals with diabetes and chronic kidney disease.Chronic kidney disease has become increasingly common over the past few decades. Dialysis, a treatment that removes excess water and waste from the blood, can temporarily help patients that have kidney failure, but this is a very expensive and burdensome procedure. Reports show that dialysis significantly decreases the quality of life for many patients. Therefore, health professionals and scientists have been searching for more conservative and less invasive measures that can help patients with chronic kidney disease before they progress to end-stage renal disease and require dialysis.
Nutrition and food intake can largely influence the kidneys since they are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood. Notably, the metabolism of proteins can adversely affect chronic kidney disease. Low-protein diets are often prescribed as a mechanism to prevent kidney disease and symptoms of kidney disease. However, low-protein diets can sometimes lead to a lack of nutrients and energy.
Another point of consideration is the presence of diabetes in patients with chronic kidney disease since these two conditions often occur together. The biology behind diabetes may exacerbate the potential side-effects of a low-protein diet. To investigate this concern, a group from Italy conducted a clinical trial in which chronic kidney disease patients with or without diabetes were placed on a low-protein diet. They published their findings in BMC Nephrology.