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J Nephrol. 2013 Nov-Dec;26(6):960-74. doi: 10.5301/jn.5000284. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Dietary fat modification in patients with chronic kidney disease: n-3 fatty acids and beyond.

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Divisions of Renal Medicine and Baxter Novum, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm - Sweden.


Replacement of dietary saturated fat with unsaturated fat has been recommended for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population. Less is known of the health risks in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), of a diet with an unhealthy fat profile, in general characterized by insufficient polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and excess satu-rated fatty acids (SFA). The dietary intake of PUFA, both the n-3 and n-6 subfamilies, is increasingly gaining attention in CKD, owing to its broad cardioprotective effects. Conversely, dietary SFA may promote CVD in this vulnerable population. This review discusses the potential benefits of dietary fat modification in CKD patients, including plausible effects on renal function, albuminuria, lipoproteins, nutritional status, inflammation, thrombosis and clinical outcomes. Increasing evidence supports the concept that n-3 PUFA might have therapeutic potential in reducing proteinuria in CKD and reducing triglycerides and inflammation in dialysis patients. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that linoleic acid, a major n-6 PUFA derived from vegetable oils, may be beneficial for a number of CVD risk factors. Increased consumption of oily fish as part of plant-based diets with low content of SFA is likely to benefit patients who have CKD, or are at risk of developing CKD. Such recommendations are in line with the concept of a healthy "Mediterranean diet" and are in line with current dietary recommendations for CVD prevention in the community.

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