Following a Mediterranean diet has been known to protect against several chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, obesity, peripheral artery disease, hypertension, stroke and heart attacks.
Adding to the list, a new study reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) found that the diet can also help to fight chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys fail to function properly and remove waste and excess water from the body. A declined kidney function, thus leads to accumulation of wastes in the body, and the onset of certain chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Over the time, this condition can progress into kidney failure.
Data from experts show that poor diet can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. According to The Kidney Foundation of Canada, proper nutrition is crucial for keeping kidney healthy. They recommend healthy eating as an effective method to manage chronic kidney disease.
In the new study, a team of researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center in the US initiated to examine the benefits of a Mediterranean diet on kidney health.
The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional concept that promotes healthy eating by encouraging consumption of more fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts and healthy fats along with olive oil and moderate levels of wine. The diet also recommends minimalising red meats, sweets and processed foods.
As a part of the study, lead researcher Minesh Khatri and his colleagues closely monitored nearly 900 people for seven years.
People who strictly followed a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of developing a chronic kidney disease by 17%.
"Many studies have found a favorable association between the Mediterranean diet and a variety of health outcomes, including those related to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others," Dr. Khatri, said in a news release. "There is increasing evidence that poor diet is associated with kidney disease, but it is unknown whether the benefits of a Mediterranean diet could extend to kidney health as well."
Smoking, alcohol consumption, regular consumption of soft drinks and soda, physical inactivity and obesity are some other unhealthy factors known to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.