With all the information out there these days, it can be hard to know which foods are good for you and which you should avoid. If you have kidney disease, your diet becomes even harder to manage.
Two new studies shed some light on what is good and bad for patients with kidney disease.
Pomegranate juice helps kidney disease patients manage their blood pressure. At the same time, many kidney disease patients are taking herbs and dietary supplements that could be harmful to their health.
For one study, Lilach Shema, Ph.D., of Western Galilee Medical Center in Israel, and colleagues looked at how drinking pomegranate juice affected the risk of heart disease in patients with kidney disease.
Pomegranate juice full of antioxidants – substances that protect your cells from molecules called free radicals. These molecules are made when the body breaks down food or when the body is exposed to harmful substances in the environment such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and are thought to be involved in heart disease, cancer, and other conditions.
Through studying 101 dialysis patients, Dr. Shema and colleagues found that patients took 22 percent less blood pressure drugs after drinking three-and-a-half ounces of pomegranate juice three times a week for one year. In comparison, kidney patients who took a placebo instead of pomegranate juice had only a 7.7 percent reduction in the number of blood pressure drugs they took. About 12 percent of the pomegranate juice patients increased their intake of blood pressure drugs, while 34.6 percent in the placebo group increased their drug dosage.
The researchers also found that kidney patients who drank pomegranate juice had better blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Moreover, they had less plaque build-up in their arteries.
These findings suggest that drinking pomegranate juice could reduce the high rates of heart disease and death among people suffering from kidney disease.
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