Posted on: October 4th, 2022

A recent study conducted by researchers working with the National Institutes of Health looked at the rising rates of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and obesity. The study focused on the potential benefits exercise and dietary changes may have on obesity & CKD.

Researchers used caloric restrictions and aerobic exercise to observe the effects on study participants with CKD and obesity.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

CKD is a disease in which the kidneys gradually lose function over a period of time (months to years, depending on the individual case). A study conducted in 2016 noted that over 750 million people worldwide suffer from CKD.

While CKD doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms early on, the progression of the disease can lead to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Sexual dysfunction

Most CKD cases are diagnosed from general screening tests, as patients don’t often notice the early stages.

There is currently no cure for CKD. Many different CKD management plans exist consisting of exercise, dietary changes, medication, and specific medical procedures.

What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

Many different comorbid conditions can cause CKD, but 3 stand out:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Preexisting kidney conditions

All 3 of these conditions are also associated with obesity, which makes the study this article focuses on an important part of discovering more about CKD.

Research on CKD, Diets, & Exercise

The NIH study consisted of 122 participants who suffer from CKD. 111 of the participants were randomized to receive caloric restriction and aerobic exercise, caloric restriction alone, aerobic exercise alone, or usual care. 

The genders of participants were 42% women and 58% men. 25% of participants were diabetic and 91% were hypertensive. 104 started the intervention, and 92 completed the 4-month study. The average age of the participants was 60 years.

CKD Diets & Exercise Results

The participants who completed the study exhibited decreased body weight, which was most pronounced in those who had caloric restrictions. BMI and waist circumference were also down on average.

Data from the study revealed that diet had the biggest influence on participant weight loss. Exercise and dietary changes combined had marginally larger positive effects on weight than diet alone. Dietary changes alone, however, made a much more significant difference than exercise alone.

While the study noted the overall health of participants improved, there was no notable effect on CKD. The researchers were still pleased with the data from the study as it gives insight into how healthier lifestyles can affect those who are at risk for CKD. More research is needed to look at how diets & exercise affect CKD when paired with medication or medical procedures.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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