Rx Nutrition Resource Center
Rx Nutrition Resource Center
January 03, 2020
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Mediterranean diet may improve kidney function outcomes after transplant

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Antonio W. Gomes-Neto

Recently published research found that, for kidney transplant recipients, adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a lower risk of kidney function decline and graft failure.

“Studies in the general population indicate that adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet might help kidney function preservation,” Antonio W. Gomes-Neto, MD, of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, told Healio Nephrology. “Considering long-term graft failure still occurs in a considerable amount of kidney transplant recipients, we aimed to investigate whether adherence to the a Mediterranean-style diet might also benefit kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients.”

For the study, researchers included 632 kidney transplant recipients who had a functioning graft for at least 1 year. All patients responded to a food frequency questionnaire which determined their intake of 177 food items during the previous month. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet — defined as a high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and olive oil with a low intake of dairy and meat — was assessed using the nine-item Mediterranean Diet Score.

Patients were followed for a mean of 5.2 years. During this time, 119 experienced kidney function decline and 76 experienced graft failure.

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Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a lower risk of kidney function decline.
Source: Adobe Stock

Researchers found the Mediterranean Diet Score was inversely associated with kidney function decline and graft failure, as each 2-point higher score was associated with a 29% lower risk of kidney function decline and a 32% lower risk of graft failure.

“Our results show that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients, in particular in patients with higher proteinuria and those transplanted more recently,” Gomes-Neto said. “Future interventional studies aimed to improve adherence to a Mediterranean diet should be performed to investigate whether improving adherence to the Mediterranean diet might help mitigate the risk of kidney function loss and graft failure in kidney transplant recipients.” – by Melissa J. Webb

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.