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Nutrients. 2020 Jan 27;12(2). pii: E333. doi: 10.3390/nu12020333.

Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet: A Safe and Effective Tool for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity and Mild Kidney Failure.

Author information

1
Nephrology and Dialysis Unit, Santa Maria alla Gruccia Hospital, 52025 Arezzo, Italy.
2
Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, 00128 Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Very low-calorie ketogenic diets (VLCKD) are an effective and increasingly used tool for weight loss. Traditionally considered high protein, ketogenic diets are often looked at with concern by clinicians due to the potential harm they pose to kidney function. We herein evaluated the efficacy and safety of a VLCKD in patients with obesity and mild kidney failure. A prospective observational real-life study was conducted on ninety-two patients following a VLCKD for approximately 3 months. Thirty-eight had mild kidney failure and fifty-four had no renal condition and were therefore designated as control. Anthropometric parameters, bioelectrical impedance and biochemistry data were collected before and at the end of the dietary intervention. The average weight loss was nearly 20% of initial weight, with a significant reduction in fat mass. We report an improvement of metabolic parameters and no clinically relevant variation regarding liver and kidney function. Upon stratification based on kidney function, no differences in the efficacy and safety outcomes were found. Interestingly, 27.7% of patients with mild renal failure reported normalization of glomerular filtrate after dietary intervention. We conclude that, when conducted under the supervision of healthcare professionals, a VLCKD is an effective and safe treatment for weight loss in patients with obesity, including those affected by mild kidney failure.

KEYWORDS:

VLCD; VLCKD; chronic kidney disease; high protein diet; kidney function; low carbohydrate diet; renal function; safety; very low energy diet; very low-calorie diet

Conflict of interest statement

All other authors declare no conflict of interest and have approved the final manuscript.

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