Diet 'can reverse kidney failure' in mice with diabetes

Fried breakfast The ketogenic diet is 87% fat

Related Stories

A controlled diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate can repair kidney damage in diabetic mice, according to US scientists.

The study, published in journal PLoS ONE, showed a "ketogenic diet" could reverse damage caused to tubes in the kidneys by too much sugar in the blood.

In the UK around a third of the 2.8m people with either type 1 or 2 diabetes go on to develop kidney damage.

Diabetes UK said it was "questionable" whether humans could sustain the diet.

Damage reversed

The researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York used mice with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Once kidney damage had developed, half the mice were put onto the ketogenic diet for eight weeks.

Start Quote

It is also questionable whether the diet used in this model would be sustainable for humans, even in the short term.”

End Quote Dr Iain Frame Diabetes UK

The highly controlled diet, which is 87% fat, mimics the effect of starvation and should not be used without medical advice.

After eight weeks the researchers noted that kidney damage was reversed.

Professor Charles Mobbs, who led the research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said: "Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes.

"I certainly think it has promise, but I can't recommend it until we have done clinical trials."

The researchers also need to figure out the exact process that leads to repair.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: "This research was carried out in mice so it is difficult to see how these results would translate into any real benefits for people with diabetes at this stage.

"It is too simple to say that kidney failure could be prevented by diet alone and it is also questionable whether the diet used in this model would be sustainable for humans, even in the short term."

Helen Nickerson, from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which part funded the research, said: "Dr Mobbs' novel observation could lead to new molecular insights in diabetic kidney disease."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective


  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gun battles manage to flee  from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, 21 September 2013Westgate's questions

    One year on, Kenyans await answers about the mall attack


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.