Low-Protein Diet for Diabetic Nephropathy
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- Otoda, T., Kanasaki, K. & Koya, D. Curr Diab Rep (2014) 14: 523. doi:10.1007/s11892-014-0523-z
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Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of progressive kidney disease, leading to end-stage renal disease and renal replacement therapy. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers have been considered effective at slowing the progression of kidney function deterioration. However, these drugs cannot sufficiently halt the progression of nephropathy to the extent that is required. A low-protein diet (LPD) is believed to be a nutritional intervention that may slow kidney disease progression. In fact, preclinical animal experiments have demonstrated excellent renoprotective effects of an LPD. However, in human clinical trials, analyses of the effects of protein restriction on diabetic nephropathy have not yet revealed consistently positive outcomes of this nutritional intervention. In this review, we analyze the potential renoprotective effects of an LPD on diabetic nephropathy and summarize the outcomes of clinical trials that have systematically investigated the efficacy of an LPD in diabetic nephropathy. In addition, we discuss some potential approaches associated with nutritional interventions to combat progressive kidney disease.