Mediterranean diet includes high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts

Kidney transplant recipients who follow the Mediterranean diet were less likely to experience hindered kidney function, says a recent study. The study appeared in an upcoming issue of CJASN. Adhering to the Mediterranean diet was linked with lesser amount of kidney loss. More than one-third of recipients still face a loss of kidney function within 10 years, even if the patients have exhibited improvements in survival of transplanted kidneys in the early years.

Antonio Gomes-Neto, MD (the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands) and his team investigated examined the effects of following 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)-on transplant recipients’ kidney health.

According to findings, the Mediterranean diet may have a positive effect on the recipient’s kidney health. For the study, accounts of 632 adult kidney transplant recipients with a functioning donor kidney for at least one year were studied. The participants completed a food-related questionnaire, and their adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated 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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