Healthy diet may repair kidney damage
Tue, 26 Apr 2011 12:20:53 GMT
A ketogenic diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate may help reverse the kidney damages in patients suffering diabetes, a new study suggests.
A team of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine used mice with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to compare the effects of regular (containing higher amounts of carbohydrates such as sugar and starch) and ketogenic diet on the kidneys.
Ketogenic diet is an eating program low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fats instead. The diet starves the body of carbs and sugars, thereby forces the body to use fats rather than glucose for producing energy.
After 8 weeks follow up, reversed kidney damage was reported in mice that were following a low carbohydrate diet, researchers wrote in the journal PLoS One.
Scientists believe adopting a ketogenic diet may help reduce the risk of developing complications in diabetics by blocking the toxic effects of glucose.
Glucose is the natural source of energy for body cells. However, diabetes prevents glucose from entering the cells, leading to increased blood levels of the compound.
“Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes,” said lead author Professor Charles Mobbs, adding that, "I certainly think it has promise, but I can't recommend it until we have done clinical trials."
Researchers added that the ketogenic diet “is probably too extreme for chronic use in adult patients.”
However, they suggested “it is plausible that only transient exposure to the diet will ... in effect “reset” the pathological process” or “it is possible that a pharmacological intervention that mimcs these effects might be sufficient to reverse pathology.”