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G Ital Nefrol. 2008 Sep-Oct;25 Suppl 42:S54-7.

[Low-protein diet in Italy today: the conclusions of the Working Group from the Italian Society of Nephrology].

[Article in Italian]

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Gruppo di lavoro afferente al Gruppo di Studio SIN sul Trattamento conservativo dell'Insufficienza Renale Cronica, Progetto Nephrontieres, Italy.


The high estimated prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) forcefully supports the need for collaboration among nephrologists, cardiologists, diabetologists and general practitioners, to reduce the cardiovascular risk of CKD patients and delay the start of dialysis. Many studies confirm that reducing the dietary intake of proteins improves uremia as well as acid-base and phosphorus disorders without exposing the CKD patient to the risk of malnutrition. The possibility of delaying renal death and the start of dialysis by almost one to two years is also recognized, thanks in part to the antiproteinuric effect of low-protein diets supplemented with keto acids and essential amino acids. Reducing the dietary protein intake delays the start of dialysis independently of the effect of renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-active antihypertensive drugs. Reduction of the dietary protein intake is indicated in patients with a glomerular filtration rate <25 mL/min (CKD stages 4 and 5). Some situations may, however, require an earlier switch to a low-protein diet, e.g., high proteinuria, renal function worsening at more than 5 mL/min/year, diabetes, and metabolic decompensation. If well designed and properly carried out, reduction of the dietary intake of proteins is not associated with low serum albumin levels or malnutrition, and does not affect patients death. Today, highly palatable, high-quality reduced protein preparations are widely available to reduce the protein intake of CKD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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