Researchers at the University of Groningen found that higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet among kidney transplant patients was inversely associated with renal function decline and failure.
Kidney transplant recipients following the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) were found to have a lower risk of renal function decline and failure, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands.
The study followed 632 Dutch kidney transplant patients whose donor kidneys worked for at least a year.
Our results show that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients.
The patients were followed for five years and asked to self-report their diet. Based on the given answers, the patients were rated on their conformity to the Mediterranean diet from one to nine, with high scores meaning greater adherence.
While 19 percent of the participants experienced kidney function decline (instead of the 33 percent of recipients who normally experience kidney decline within 10 years of the transplant), higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with renal function decline.See more: Olive Oil Health Benefits
Each score increase of two points was associated with a 29-percent decrease in worsening kidney function and a 32-percent decline in the risk of renal failure.
“Our results show that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients, in particular in patients with higher proteinuria and those transplanted more recently,” Antonio W. Gomes-Neto, the lead author of the study, said.
“Studies in the general population indicate that adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet might help kidney function preservation,” he added. “Considering long-term graft failure still occurs in a considerable amount of kidney transplant recipients, we aimed to investigate whether adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet might also benefit kidney function preservation in kidney transplant recipients.”
Michelle Routhenstein, a clinical nutritionist who was not involved with the study, told Olive Oil Times that the anti-inflammatory properties associated with the Mediterranean diet may be among the reasons why adhering to it is beneficial for kidney transplant patients.
“Due to its core principles of eating more plant-based meals – rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and spices, which impart a plethora of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – the Mediterranean diet can be a good choice for a post-kidney transplant recipient because of its beneficial properties that can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation,” she said.
However, Routhenstein cautioned that when it comes to organ transplants there is no one-size-fits-all solution and patients should always consult their doctors before choosing a diet.
“Each person needs to be evaluated independently and quantities of certain nutrients and foods may vary based on the person’s laboratory findings, medication prescription and food preferences,” she said. “Many individuals may still have impaired kidney function and cannot eat high volumes of certain nutrients prevalent on the Mediterranean diet.”
The study was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.