Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:523 | Cite as

Low-Protein Diet for Diabetic Nephropathy

Microvascular Complications—Nephropathy (B Roshan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Microvascular Complications—Nephropathy


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.


Diabetic nephropathy Protein restriction Low-protein diet Insulin-like growth factor-1 Mammalian target of rapamycin 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Toshiki Otoda, Keizo Kanasaki, and Daisuke Koya declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diabetology & EndocrinologyKanazawa Medical UniversityKahokuJapan

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