A new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology finds that following a Mediterranean-style diet could significantly lower the risk of chronic kidney disease.
The Mediterranean diet mainly consists of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It also includes consumption of fish and poultry at least twice a week, and healthy fats – such as olive oil – in replacement of saturated fats. Red meats, processed foods and sweets are limited.
The diet has been hailed for promoting numerous health benefits. Medical News Today recently reported on a study claiming a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or extra-virgin olive oil could reverse metabolic syndrome. Other studies have linked the diet to reduced risk of stroke, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, diabetes and cancer.
As such, the research team – including Dr. Minesh Khatri of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY – wanted to assess the effects of a Mediterranean diet against chronic kidney disease (CKD).
CKD is estimated to affect 20 million people in the US. Risk of the disease increases with age; it is most common in adults over the age of 70.
“There is increasing evidence that poor diet is associated with kidney disease, but it is unknown whether the benefits of a Mediterranean diet could extend to kidney health as well,” says Dr. Khatri.
Mediterranean-style diet linked to 50% lower risk of CKD
For their study, the team analyzed the dietary patterns of 900 participants and followed them for almost 7 years.
Each participant received a Mediterranean diet score. The higher their score was, the more closely their dietary patterns resembled a Mediterranean diet.
Results of the analysis revealed that participants with a score of five or more – indicating a very close adherence to a Mediterranean diet – were 50% less likely to develop CKD and were 42% less likely to have a rapid decline in kidney function, compared with those who had a lower score.
Furthermore, the team found that every one-point increase in the Mediterranean diet score was associated with a 17% lower risk of CKD.
Source: Mediterranean-style diet linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease – Medical News Today.