Mediterranean diet may help preserve the kidney health of transplant recipients

January 02, 2020

HighlightWashington, DC (January 2, 2020) -- A new study indicates that following the Mediterranean diet may help kidney transplant recipients maintain transplant kidney function. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN.

Despite improvements in the survival of transplanted kidneys in the early years after transplantation, loss of kidney function within 10 years still occurs in more than one-third of recipients. António Gomes-Neto, MD (University of Groningen, in the Netherlands) and his colleagues investigated whether adhering to the Mediterranean diet--which focuses on high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil together with lower intake of dairy and meat products--might help protect transplant recipients' kidney health.

For the study, 632 adult kidney transplant recipients with a functioning donor kidney for at least one year completed a food-related questionnaire, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using a 9-point score.

During an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 119 recipients experienced kidney function decline (76 of whom developed kidney failure). The Mediterranean Diet Score was inversely associated with kidney function decline and kidney failure. Each 2-point higher score was associated with a 29% lower risk of kidney function decline and a 32% lower risk of kidney failure.

"Increasing scientific evidence has demonstrated health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet on cardiovascular and kidney health. In this study, we show that kidney transplant recipients with higher adherence to the Mediterranean Diet are less likely to experience function loss of their kidney transplant," said Dr. Gomes-Neto.
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Study co-authors include Maryse C.J. Osté, MD; Camilo G. Sotomayor, MD; Else van den Berg, MD, PhD; Johanna M. Geleijnse, PhD; Stefan P. Berger, MD, PhD; Reinold O.B. Gans, MD, PhD; Stephan J.L. Bakker, MD, PhD; and Gerjan J. Navis, MD, PhD.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled "Mediterranean Style Diet and Kidney Function Loss in Kidney Transplant Recipients," will appear online at http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/ on January 2, 2020, doi: 10.2215/CJN.06710619.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Since 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, visit http://www.asn-online.org.

American Society of Nephrology

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