April 21, 2011
NEW YORKFollowing a high-fat, medium-protein, low-carbohydrate diet may help reverse kidney damage in people who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine conducted a mice study to determine if following a ketogenic diet could reverse diabetic kidney failure. The researchers evaluated mice that were genetically predisposed to have Type 1 or 2 diabetes and allowed them to develop diabetic nephropathy. Half of the mice were put on the ketogenic diet, while the control group maintained a standard high carbohydrate diet. After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.
"Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes," said Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
A ketogenic diet starves the body of carbohydrates and sugars, which triggers the body to burn fat instead of glucose. Mobbs said the extreme diet requirements does not make it a long-term solution in adults; however, exposure to the diet for as little as one month may be sufficient to "reset" the gene expression and pathological process leading to kidney failure.
Researchers also found that expression of genes that indicate kidney failure were turned off in the mice fed the ketogenic diet.
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