Kidney Failure Reversed With Low Carb Diet

A study that shows what diet can do for kidney failure. I wouldn’t recommend anyone with kidney disease to go on this type of diet but there are diets available that are just as effective. Click  here to learn more…

Diabetics’ Kidney Failure May Be Reversed by Low Carb Diet

Mt. Sinai School of Medicine researchers have completed a study that provides the first conclusive evidence that a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, known as a ketogenic diet, may be able to reverse damaged kidney functioning in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients. In addition, the researchers identified a panel of genes, previously unreported, that is associated with kidney failure related to diabetes. The expression of these genes was reversed by the ketogenic diet.

Mice that had been bred to be genetically prone to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were studied by Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his research team. The diabetic mice developed diabetic kidney failure (nephropathy) and were divided into two groups; one was maintained on a regular high carbohydrate diet, and the other was switched to a ketogenic diet. The latter group showed reversed kidney failure after 8 weeks.

Dr. Mobbs states, “Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes. This finding has significant implications for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure, and possibly other complications, each year.”

The ketogenic diet is high in fats, low in carbohydrates, and contains a moderate quantity of protein; it is often prescribed for seizure control in epileptic children. Ketones are molecules produced by the body when the level of fat in the blood is high but the glucose levels are low; the ketones are then used as an energy source by many body cells instead of glucose, which keeps glucose metabolism low. Because high levels of glucose metabolism lead to kidney failure in diabetics, the researchers put forward the hypothesis that this specialized diet could block the harmful effect of excess glucose. The diet is an extreme one and not a practical long-term solution for adults. But this research shows  that short-term use of the regime – possibly as short as a month – may be enough to “reset” the expression of the newly identified gene panel, and therefore the abnormal physical process leading to kidney failure.

Another array of genes was identified by the team that is expressed in diabetic kidney failure that was not before suspected to play any role in the disease. The genes’ association with diabetic nephropathy is a result of stresses on the functioning of cells. This genetic expression was also reversed in the mice consuming the ketogenic diet.

The research group intends to continue working on the ketogenic diet’s effects and the mechanisms that make it reverse kidney failure, both in diabetics and those suffering age-related nephropathy. Dr. Mobbs speculates that the diet may be valuable in treating neurological diseases, and retinopathy, which causes blindness.

He said, “Knowing how the ketogenic diet reverses nephropathy will help us identify a drug target and subsequent pharmacological interventions that mimic the effect of the diet. We look forward to studying this promising development further.”

This study was funded partly by the National Institutes of Health and by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Source: April, 2011. ( Original article from Science Daily).

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