A new study sheds light on the role of dietary supplements in the treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease who require dialysis.
Advantages of CKD are often associated with malnutrition which manifests itself through hypoalbuminemia – abnormally low concentration of a protein called albumin in the blood.
The study, published by a group of Californian researchers in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, suggests that hypoalbuminemia is becoming more widespread among CKD patients and is strongly associated with poor prognosis.
Nutrition is key to counteracting this side effect of dialysis, and the researchers suggest that in patients for whom proper diet is not sufficient, oral nutritional supplements (ONS) can provide important benefits.
This study supports previous findings, such as those published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Association of Nephrology which found significant improvements in skeletal muscle protein balance in patients receiving ONS during dialysis.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, another often overlooked factor in managing CKD is physical exercise which has a number of beneficial effects and should be encouraged.