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Protein Source In Diet Significantly Affects Toxic Phosphorous Levels In Kidney Patients

December 23, 2010: 03:58 PM EST

Levels of toxic phosphorous in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) drop precipitously when they follow a vegetarian diet, according to a study by U.S. scientists. CKD patients have a tough time excreting the mineral phosphorous, found in proteins and a common food additive. Preventing phosphorous buildup, which can lead to heart disease and even death, is critical, but food labels often do not list phosphorous content. For the study, nine CKD patients followed a vegetarian or meat-based diet for a week, then the opposite diet two-to four- weeks later. Blood and urine tests found that despite equivalent protein and phosphorus concentrations in the two diets, patients had lower blood phosphorus levels and decreased phosphorus excretion in the urine when they were on the vegetarian diet.

Sharon Moe, MD, et al., "Vegetarian Compared with Meat Dietary Protein Source and Phosphorus Homeostasis in Chronic Kidney Disease", Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, December 23, 2010, © American Society of Nephrology
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