Millions of dollars are spent each year fighting kidney disease, often with little success. However, the results of a new study suggest that limiting the amount of processed foods consumed and increasing the intake of healthy, vitamin-rich food may be an important part of reducing the risk of poor kidney health.
Researchers from the University of Miami investigated the possible connection between high levels of phosphorous — a common preservative used to extend the shelf life of processed foods — and kidney function.
They tested the levels of phosphorous in the blood of patients who were being treated for kidney disease. They found that those who had the most phosphorous in their blood had the poorest health outcomes.
Orlando Gutierrez, who led the study, said that this effect is even more common among low-income individuals, as they often have few affordable healthy food choices.
"Our work in the general population suggested that poverty was linked to a higher phosphate level," he said. "The amount of phosphorus additives in food is not always listed, so people unknowingly ingest more phosphorus than they probably should."