Low carb, high-fat diet may reverse kidney failure in diabetes

April 21st, 2011 - 2:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 21 (ANI): Researchers have for the first time determined that the ketogenic diet, a specialized high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, may reverse impaired kidney function in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

They also identified a previously unreported panel of genes associated with diabetes-related kidney failure, whose expression was reversed by the diet.

Charles Mobbs, professor of Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his research team evaluated mice that were genetically predisposed to have Type 1 or 2 diabetes.

The mice were allowed to develop diabetic nephropathy, or kidney failure. Half of the mice were put on the ketogenic diet, while the control group maintained a standard high carbohydrate diet. The researchers found that after eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet typically used to control seizures in children with epilepsy.

Considering the extreme requirements of the diet, it is not a long-term solution in adults. However, Mobbs’ research indicates that exposure to the diet for as little as a month may be sufficient to “reset” the gene expression and pathological process leading to kidney failure.

The researchers also identified a large array of genes expressed during diabetic nephropathy not previously known to play a role in the development of this complication. These genes are associated with kidney failure as a result of the stress on cellular function. The team found that the expression of these genes was also reversed in the mice on the ketogenic diet.

The study has been published in the current issue of PLoS ONE. (ANI)

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