Mediterranean Diets May Maintain Kidney Function Post Transplant

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Recently, a new study has highlighted the benefits of following a Mediterranean diet for people who have had a kidney transplant. Although there have been improvements in kidney transplantation procedures and aftercare in the past years, reports suggest that nearly one-third of the patients who have undergone a transplant may get kidney issues again ten to eleven years later.

Mediterranean diets have become popular in recent years due to its proven benefits. The diet is mainly plant-based and a person following it can have nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. In addition, seafood and dairy items such as milk and eggs are also allowed in a moderate amount.

Research from the past has corroborated various benefits of switching to a plant-based, Mediterranean diet. In fact, it is also recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically for better and improved heart health. It is also among sustainable and generally healthy diets with no negative outcomes noted till now, which is why is it also recognized by the World Health Organization.

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Additionally, the diet is also suggested to people with certain health conditions including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Most of these conditions are also generally associated with the health of kidneys. For instance, uncontrollable high blood pressure or hypertension has been linked with kidney failure. In a similar way, diabetes type 2, a disease caused usually by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle is also connected to kidney disease and failure.

The findings of the recent research, which appears in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), adds further to the medical literature present on the advantages of following a Mediterranean diet. The study, led by António Gomes-Neto from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, looked at over six hundred people who had had a kidney transplant.

The participants of the study were required to fill in questionnaires regarding their diet and health for one year after kidney transplant. The researchers examined and calculated the adhere of the participants using a nine-point score. After the one year observation period and five years follow up, it was found that following a Mediterranean diet and the risk of kidney malfunction were inversely associated.

Out of the six hundred and thirty-two participants, around one hundred and nineteen people experienced kidney complications. In addition, seventy-six of these people had kidney failure. On the other hand, participants who followed the Mediterranean diet strictly were seen to be healthier. The higher the participant’s adherence to the diet, the lower the risk of developing kidney issues. With every two-point increase in the adherence scale, there was a twenty-nine percent lower risk of having kidney problems and a thirty-two percent lower risk of experiencing kidney failure.

Dr. Gomes-Neto states that this research is yet another evidence of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the heart and kidneys. Just like how the diet is suggested to people having heart and kidney problems, it can also be recommended to people who have undergone treatments and procedures to maintain their health later on.

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