Tuesday, April 26, 2011

High-fat diet may help reverse kidney damage

After reading this I went online to refresh my understanding of the kidney disease of diabetes. Before anyone starts thinking about changing their diet based on the following report I suggest they check out the above link..

LOS ANGELES – A high-fat “ketogenic” diet may reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes, a study published online last week by the journal PLoS One reports.

Past research has shown that lowering blood sugar through diet can prevent kidney failure but not reverse it in patients with diabetes. Lead author Charles Mobbs, a neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said that this study – in which mice were fed a high-fat diet of 5 percent carbohydrate, 8 percent protein and a whopping 87 percent fat – was the first to show that dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse kidney failure caused by diabetes.

That’s hopeful news, but there’s a serious problem: Following a ketogenic diet is brutal. A November 2010 article in the New York Times Magazine detailed one family’s experience putting their young son on the diet to treat his epilepsy. The boy isn’t allowed to eat such staples of childhood as cookies or macaroni and cheese. His mother has to weigh every morsel that passes his lips. At the time the article was published, he had been on the diet for almost two years.

“We figure that in an average week, Sam consumes a quart and a third of heavy cream, nearly a stick and a half of butter, 13 teaspoons of coconut oil, 20 slices of bacon and 9 eggs,” wrote the boy’s father, journalist Fred Vogelstein, who noted that the ketogenic diet is “only for the desperate.”

Mobbs and his co-authors admit that the ketogenic diet “is probably too extreme for chronic use in adult patients.” But they suggest as well that “it is plausible that only transient exposure to the diet will ... in effect “reset” the pathological process.” Or, they write, “it is possible that a pharmacological intervention that mimcs these effects might be sufficient to reverse pathology.”

Let’s hope. Nice as it sounds (in theory) to chow down daily on butter and cream, it’s not something most of us would want to do for any extended period of time.

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