There have been many times when I’ve had conversations with people who have a serious disease and they ask me if changing their diet will make a difference, given the serious nature of their particular medical condition. My response is usually quite measured in these cases. However, let me review this latest research looking at a high-risk group and how diet affected their health status.
New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 6,213 participants in a large observational study which originally involved 25,620 people who were over 55 and had a previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes with a high risk of kidney disease. Over 5.5 years of follow up, the smaller group of participants were assessed for the presence or absence of chronic kidney disease attributable to their diabetes or if they had succumbed to their diabetes.
After the followup period, 31.7% of participants showed evidence of chronic kidney disease and 8.3% had died. Diet surveys were given to the study participants at the end of the trial. Those who had the highest scores in the nutrition surveys meant that they had adhered to a better quality diet.
After the researchers statistically controlled for other health factors such as high blood pressure, body weight, and blood sugar, they found that the participants who had the highest nutritional scores had a 26% lower risk of chronic kidney disease progression compared to those who had the lowest nutritional scores.
The results of this research also indicated that those study participants who had the highest nutritional scores were almost 40% less likely to die prematurely as a result of their diabetes. Subjects who drank a moderate amount of alcohol also showed a decreased risk.
The results of this study clearly indicate that a healthier diet composed of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, moderate alcohol, and eating less fat and sugar could actually change the progression of chronic kidney disease in the later stages of their battle with type 2 diabetes.
Previous research conducted in the same group of high risk patients has shown the reduction of heart attack incidence while following a Mediterranean-style diet.
In my opinion, your diet can positively influence the degree of inflammation, blood sugar, insulin levels, free radical damage, and vascular function leading to an improved health outcome even in high risk situations like previously illustrated. Prior research has proven this to be the case to a greater extent.
My advice is to talk to your health care provider regarding any diet or additional health strategies you wish to consider in your health care management.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Tucker, M., “Healthy Diet Lowers CKD Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Patients,” Medscape web site; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809356
Dunkler, D., et al., “Diet and Kidney Disease in High-Risk Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,”JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 12, 2013
“Predimed Study Group,” Predimed web site; http://predimed.onmedic.net/Default.aspx?alias=predimed.onmedic.net/eng, last accessed August 19, 2013.