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]