Preventing Diabetes-Related Kidney Problems is “Fishy” Business!

People with blood sugar problems are often told to limit the amount of protein in their diets. This can help delay the progression of kidney disease.

But new research indicates the key to healthier kidneys for diabetics may have more to do with the type of proteins they eat rather than the amount.

According to a Reuter’s Health report, findings from a large British study found that eating fish at least twice a week seemed to reduce incidents of kidney disease in patients with blood sugar problems!

Amanda I. Adler, M.D., at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge, and fellow researchers conducted a population-based analysis of 22,000 subjects—of which 517 had diabetes.

They found that 8.3 percent had the protein albumin in their urine, which is an indication of kidney disease.

According to patient responses to a food questionnaire, 18 percent of diabetics who ate fish less than once a week had the protein in their urine. This compared with just 4 percent among patients who included fish in their diet more than twice a week.

Even after adjusting the data for clinical, social, demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors—researchers concluded that regular fish consumption remained a significant predictor of diabetics free of the albumin protein in their urine.

The researchers suggested that “the unique nutrient composition of fish” may enhance blood sugar control or improve lipid profiles—which ultimately protect kidneys from damage.

They suggest more research may be needed to determine the best types of fish… preparation techniques… and dietary frequency that will best protect the kidneys of patients with diabetes.

The research findings were reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.