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      Very Low Protein Diet for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Recent Insights

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          Abstract

          Use of nutritional therapy (NT) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients is still debated among nephrologists, but it represents a fundamental point in the conservative treatment of CKD. It has been used for years and it has new goals today, such as (1) the reduction of edema, diuretics, and blood pressure values with a low sodium-content diet; (2) the dose reduction of phosphate levels and phosphate binders; (3) the administration of bicarbonate with vegetables in order to correct metabolic acidosis and delay CKD progression; (4) the reduction of the number and the doses of drugs and chemical substances; and (5) the lowering of urea levels, the cure of intestinal microbioma, and the reduction of cyanates levels (such as indoxyl-sulphate and p-cresol sulphate), which are the most recent known advantages achievable with NT. In conclusion, NT and especially very low protein diet (VLPD) have several beneficial effects in CKD patients and slows the progression of CKD.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Vegetarian compared with meat dietary protein source and phosphorus homeostasis in chronic kidney disease.

          Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) are in positive phosphorus balance, but phosphorus levels are maintained in the normal range through phosphaturia induced by increases in fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) and parathyroid hormone (PTH). This provides the rationale for recommendations to restrict dietary phosphate intake to 800 mg/d. However, the protein source of the phosphate may also be important. We conducted a crossover trial in nine patients with a mean estimated GFR of 32 ml/min to directly compare vegetarian and meat diets with equivalent nutrients prepared by clinical research staff. During the last 24 hours of each 7-day diet period, subjects were hospitalized in a research center and urine and blood were frequently monitored. The results indicated that 1 week of a vegetarian diet led to lower serum phosphorus levels and decreased FGF23 levels. The inpatient stay demonstrated similar diurnal variation for blood phosphorus, calcium, PTH, and urine fractional excretion of phosphorus but significant differences between the vegetarian and meat diets. Finally, the 24-hour fractional excretion of phosphorus was highly correlated to a 2-hour fasting urine collection for the vegetarian diet but not the meat diet. In summary, this study demonstrates that the source of protein has a significant effect on phosphorus homeostasis in patients with CKD. Therefore, dietary counseling of patients with CKD must include information on not only the amount of phosphate but also the source of protein from which the phosphate derives.
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            A comparison of treating metabolic acidosis in CKD stage 4 hypertensive kidney disease with fruits and vegetables or sodium bicarbonate.

            Current guidelines recommend Na(+)-based alkali for CKD with metabolic acidosis and plasma total CO2 (PTCO2) < 22 mM. Because diets in industrialized societies are typically acid-producing, we compared base-producing fruits and vegetables with oral NaHCO3 (HCO3) regarding the primary outcome of follow-up estimated GFR (eGFR) and secondary outcomes of improved metabolic acidosis and reduced urine indices of kidney injury. Individuals with stage 4 (eGFR, 15-29 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)) CKD due to hypertensive nephropathy, had a PTCO2 level < 22 mM, and were receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition were randomly assigned to 1 year of daily oral NaHCO3 at 1.0 mEq/kg per day (n=35) or fruits and vegetables dosed to reduce dietary acid by half (n=36). Plasma cystatin C-calculated eGFR did not differ at baseline and 1 year between groups. One-year PTCO2 was higher than baseline in the HCO3 group (21.2±1.3 versus 19.5±1.5 mM; P<0.01) and the fruits and vegetables group (19.9±1.7 versus 19.3±1.9 mM; P<0.01), consistent with improved metabolic acidosis, and was higher in the HCO3 than the fruits and vegetable group (P<0.001). One-year urine indices of kidney injury were lower than baseline in both groups. Plasma [K(+)] did not increase in either group. One year of fruits and vegetables or NaHCO3 in individuals with stage 4 CKD yielded eGFR that was not different, was associated with higher-than-baseline PTCO2, and was associated with lower-than-baseline urine indices of kidney injury. The data indicate that fruits and vegetables improve metabolic acidosis and reduce kidney injury in stage 4 CKD without producing hyperkalemia.
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              Mortality in kidney disease patients treated with phosphate binders: a randomized study.

              Dietary phosphorous overload and excessive calcium intake from calcium-containing phosphate binders promote coronary artery calcification (CAC) that may contribute to high mortality of dialysis patients. CAC has been found in patients in early stages of nondialysis-dependent CKD. In this population, no study has evaluated the potential role of phosphorus binders on mortality. This study aimed to evaluate all-cause mortality as the primary end point in nondialysis-dependent CKD patients randomized to different phosphate binders; secondary end points were dialysis inception and the composite end point of all-cause mortality and dialysis inception. This is a randomized, multicenter, nonblinded pilot study. Consecutive outpatients (n=212; stage 3-4 CKD) were randomized to either sevelamer (n=107) or calcium carbonate (n=105). Phosphorus concentration was maintained between 2.7 and 4.6 mg/dl for patients with stage 3-4 CKD and between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/dl for patients with stage 5 CKD. The CAC score was assessed by computed tomography at study entry and after 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. All-cause mortality, dialysis inception, and the composite end point were recorded for up to 36 months. In patients randomized to sevelamer, all-cause mortality and the composite end point were lower; a nonsignificant trend was noted for dialysis inception. Sevelamer provided benefits in all-cause mortality and in the composite end point of death or dialysis inception but not advantages in dialysis inception. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Clin Med
                J Clin Med
                jcm
                Journal of Clinical Medicine
                MDPI
                2077-0383
                20 May 2019
                May 2019
                : 8
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Nefrology and Dialysis, AORN “San Giuseppe Moscati, 83100 Avellino AV, Italy; luciadimicco@ 123456gmail.com
                [2 ]Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Parodi-Delfino Hospital, 00034 Colleferro, Rome, Italy; dilulloluca69@ 123456gmail.com
                [3 ]Department of Research, Innovation and Brand Reputation, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, 24127 Bergamo BG, Italy; abellasi@ 123456asst-pg23.it
                [4 ]Nephrology and Dialysis, AORN “Antonio Cardarelli”, 80131 Napoli, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: br.diiorio@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                jcm-08-00718
                10.3390/jcm8050718
                6572310
                31137545
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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