Mediterranean diet could protect kidney function in people with heart disease

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Scientists from the University of Córdoba and elsewhere found eating the Mediterranean diet may protect kidney function in people with heart disease.

Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should.

Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke Lifestyle and dietary habits can affect kidney function, playing an important role in the prevention and development of chronic kidney disease.

Previous research has shown the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in protecting kidney function.

However, which diet is more effective in the management of chronic kidney disease in secondary heart disease prevention is unclear.

Secondary prevention refers to preventing heart attack and stroke through drug therapy and counseling for high-risk people – such as those with previous heart events or known heart diseases.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the benefits of the long-term intake of two healthy diets (a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil compared to a low-fat diet rich in complex carbohydrates) in preserving kidney function in people with coronary heart disease.

They tested more than 1000 people with coronary heart disease.

These people were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet. Patients were classified according to their type 2 diabetes status. The team evaluated its influence on the progression of kidney function.

The team found although kidney function declined after both diet interventions, the Mediterranean diet produced a lower decline in kidney function compared to the low-fat diet in patients with type 2 diabetes.

No big differences were found in kidney function between the two diets in people without type 2 diabetes.

In addition, this differential effect of the Mediterranean diet was mainly found in patients with mildly-impaired kidney function.

Based on the findings, researchers suggest that the long-term intake of a Mediterranean diet rich in EVOO, when compared to a low-fat diet, may help protect kidney function.

People with mildly-impaired kidney function may benefit more from the Mediterranean diet in protecting kidney function.

These findings show the clinical benefits of the Mediterranean diet in secondary heart disease prevention.

The research was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Alicia Podadera-Herreros et al.

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