[tabi] very interesting news for anyone with kidney problems

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 09:29:52 -0400

Below is an article from a recent issue of a health news letter I
High-Fat Diet Helps Kidneys

Not only is diabetes a difficult disease in and of itself, but it also
brings some
terrible complications, some of which are life-threatening -- including
kidney damage,
long thought to be irreversible. But maybe it's not... I just read a
new study showing that there is a way to reverse kidney damage from
diabetes (type
1 and type 2), and believe it or not, the key is eating a high-fat diet!
Is This for Real?
It's not quite as simple as dining regularly on marbled steaks and rich
ice cream,
however. This research focused on what's called a
 diet, a type of diet that has been used for decades to control seizures
in children
with severe epilepsy. It's a rigid eating plan in which people typically
eat about
four times as much fat (described in detail later) as carbohydrates and
for a diet that is 75% to 80% fat.
Charles V. Mobbs, PhD, professor of neuroscience, geriatrics and
palliative medicine
at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, told me that this
study is the
first one ever to suggest that dietary intervention can turn around
kidney damage
and possibly other diabetes-related complications as well.
At Mount Sinai, Dr. Mobbs and his team examined the effects of a
ketogenic diet in
mice bred to have diabetes. They allowed the diabetic mice to develop
kidney failure
and put half on the diet (in this case 87% fat, 8% protein, 5%
carbohydrates) and
half on a high-carbohydrate control diet of standard mouse chow (11%
fat, 23% protein,
64% carbohydrates). After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed --
meaning that
urine analysis showed normal, healthy levels of albumin and creatinine
-- in mice
on the ketogenic diet. The mice on the control diet died.
Tricking the Body
Here's how the ketogenic diet works:
 Similar to the low-carb, high-fat Atkins diet, it essentially tricks
the body into
believing that it is in starvation mode, a condition that produces
lowered blood
glucose levels and higher blood fat levels. These cues trigger the body
to manufacture
molecules called ketones -- an indication that the body is using fat to
provide fuel
for energy to the cells. (Normally, the body uses glucose for fuel.)
People with diabetes have elevated blood sugar (as you know), causing
excess glucose
metabolism -- this is what causes diabetes-related kidney failure, Dr.
Mobbs explained.
But once blood glucose is relatively low and ketones are high (providing
an alternative
source of energy), the kidneys can take a rest from glucose metabolism
-- and thereby
regenerate themselves. These findings were published in the April 20,
2011 issue
If this process is found to work in humans -- and Dr. Mobbs told me he
believes it
probably will -- using a ketogenic diet would be a dramatic improvement
over dialysis
or a kidney transplant, which are at present, the only ways to treat
kidney failure.
It Works Fast
The problem, however, is that the ketogenic diet is so strict and
extreme in its
requirements (for instance, even toothpaste is restricted in case it has
sugar in
it) that people find it hard to follow for any length of time.
To illustrate:
 Children put on this diet to control seizures are hospitalized and
begin with a
24-hour water fast. Their diet is gradually modified, eventually
comprising 75 to
100 calories per 2.2 pounds of body weight with a ratio of three or four
times as
much fat as carbohydrate and protein -- emphasizing lots of butter,
heavy whipping
cream, mayonnaise and oils. The children are closely monitored for
adverse reactions
-- since this is a high-calorie diet, their calorie intake is also
watched to be
sure that they don't gain weight -- and if all goes well, they are sent
home to continue
the diet for several months.
So it's logical that the next question would be how long does a person
have to follow
this eating plan for it to work -- forever? The answer is, probably not.
Dr. Mobbs told me that he believes that following a ketogenic diet for a
short period
of time -- perhaps only a month -- may be enough to "reset" the kidneys
to begin
functioning normally. But this is only a guess, he said, noting that he
and his team
are conducting further mouse trials to determine exactly how many weeks
or months
are needed to reverse kidney damage.
The research team is also organizing trials in humans, and Dr. Mobbs
sees great potential
for additional future uses of the ketogenic diet. In years to come, we
may see it
prescribed to treat a variety of both diabetes-related and
nondiabetes-related complications
-- for instance, age-related kidney failure not caused by diabetes.
No question, this is compelling stuff, and I promise that you'll be
hearing more
about it in
Daily Health News
 -- but in the meantime, Dr. Mobbs asked me to emphasize that the
ketogenic diet
is a serious medical intervention that should be attempted only under a
supervision. Do not try it on your own.
Charles V. Mobbs, PhD, professor of neuroscience, geriatrics and
palliative medicine,
Mobbs's Aging and Metabolism Lab, Fishberg Department of Neuroscience,
Mount Sinai
School of Medicine, New York.


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