Washington: A new study has found that reducing salt intake and increased consumption of vegetable protein provide clear benefits for the heart and kidney health of patients with chronic kidney disease.
The findings point to the power of salt restriction in potentially prolonging kidney disease patients' lives.
Excessive salt intake is consistently linked to increased risk of heart disease and worsening kidney function.
People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be particularly susceptible to salt's detrimental effects due to the kidney's important role in controlling salt balance and their increased risk of dying from heart disease.
Until now, though, the effect of salt restriction in these patients has not been well explored.
The findings suggest that salt restriction is an inexpensive, low-risk and effective intervention for reducing cardiovascular risk and risk of worsening kidney function in people with CKD.
Due to poor kidney function, toxins that are normally excreted in the urine can build up in the blood of individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Research shows that compared with animal protein, vegetable protein intake in patients is linked with lower production of such toxins.
However, it is unclear whether consuming more vegetable protein prolongs CKD patients' lives.
After controlling for various factors such as age, smoking, and BMI, the researchers found that for each 10 gram increase in vegetable protein intake per day, participants had a 14 percent lower risk of dying by the end of 2006.
"Interventional trials are needed to establish whether increasing vegetable protein will decrease mortality in the CKD population," they wrote.
The study is set to be published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).