One of the serious complications of diabetes is kidney failure. Once it has begun to develop, this complication can be difficult to stop. New mouse research suggests a simple dietary intervention may be able to reverse the progression, however. The mice, which were genetically susceptible to develop diabetes, began to show signs of kidney failure. Half of them were put on a very low-carb, high-fat diet known as a ketogenic diet. The other half were maintained on a standard high-carb lab diet. Mice on the ketogenic diet reversed their kidney failure. The next step will be to test this intervention in humans with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see if it works to protect their kidney function. In the meantime, people with diabetes might consider cutting back on carbs, since high-carbohydrate foods can make it harder to control blood sugar.

[PLoSOne, April 13, 2011]

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  1. DB
    Reply

    My mother-in-Law just turned 80. She had a blood test and Creatinne (1.8), BUN (42) & Glom Filtrate (29). This indicates severe kidney disease. She going to see a kidney specialist this next Weds. but is there something she can do to improve her kidney function?

  2. ebm
    Reply

    It is surprising that there are still people out there who do not know about carbs. On
    a low carb diet it is best to eat complex, non-refined, non white anything carbs. You
    can get books/articles on good and bad carbs. Several of my friends have lost weight
    and reversed high BP and cholesterol and pre-diabetic syndromes on reducing carbs to 70 grams (recommended by a Dietician at the VA) and he eats whole grains only, occasionally potatoes and a dessert.

  3. HJL
    Reply

    Hello,
    A Ketogenic diet is the technical term for what happens on a low or no carb diet. The body naturally burns fat for energy (normal!!!) and ketones are released which can be measured in the urine by a ketone strip.
    Nutritionists are still telling diabetics that they must eat carbs at every meal for “energy”. This is total nonsense. Before insulin Drs. treated diabetes by this ketogenic diet. (This is actually the Atkins diet but don’t tell anyone) The ketogenic diet is also used therapeutically for certain nerve conditions.
    This is one more nail in the coffin of carbs and particularly fructose. Sugar is 1/2 fructose. The jury is out on glucose which is predominant in the so-called good carbs. See Gary Taubes’ article in last week’s Sunday Times Magazine which discusses all this.
    HJL

  4. Jesse
    Reply

    What is a low carb diet? Does it exclude only simple carbs such as sugar or does it attempt to eliminate nearly all carbs?
    The story on lab rats was useless without more info.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE RATS’ DIETS, BUT PEOPLE CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT LOW CARB EATING FROM ERIC WESTMAN, MD: THE NEW ATKINS DIET.

  5. Karen T.
    Reply

    The article suggests, “In the meantime, people with diabetes might consider cutting back on carbs, since high-carbohydrate foods can make it harder to control blood sugar.”
    Question: Does diabetes (at least, Type II) exist in the absence of high-carb foods?
    Probably it does, in as much as people with allergies are still allergic, even if they don’t ever contact their trigger substance. But what are the symptoms of diabetes if there’s nothing in the diet to shoot the blood glucose off the charts in the first place? Agreed, it’s a month-by-month measure (HgA1C), rather than a meal-by-meal thing. Nevertheless, diet could be the first, and cheapest, and least-destructive intervention, rather than something that “needs to be tested in humans to see if it works for them.” Anyone who’s ever done Atkins knows that a low-carb intervention will mitigate, if not reverse, just about all of the bio-markers for Type II damage.

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