A new study suggests that kidney transplant recipients who follow more of the Mediterranean diet were less likely to experience kidney loss.
Adhering to a Mediterranean diet may help kidney transplant recipients to maintain the health of the transplant kidney function.
The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN.
Antonio Gomes-Neto, MD (the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands) and his colleagues investigated whether following to the Mediterranean diet, that includes high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil together with lower intake of dairy and meat products--might help protect transplant recipients' kidney health.
More than one-third of recipients still face a loss of kidney function within 10 years, despite improvements shown in the survival of transplanted kidneys in the early years.
The study was conducted by taking the accounts of 632 adult kidney transplant recipients with a functioning donor kidney for at least one year completed a food-related questionnaire, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using a 9-point score.
During an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 119 recipients experienced kidney function decline (76 of whom developed kidney failure). The Mediterranean Diet Score was inversely associated with kidney function decline and kidney failure. Each 2-point higher score was associated with a 29% lower risk of kidney function decline and a 32% lower risk of kidney failure.
"Increasing scientific evidence has demonstrated the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet on cardiovascular and kidney health. In this study, we show that kidney transplant recipients with higher adherence to the Mediterranean Diet are less likely to experience function loss of their kidney transplant," said Dr. Gomes-Neto.
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