Mediterranean-style diet linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease

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 strokeheart attackperipheral artery diseasediabetes 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.

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