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Apples, oranges and jam – the tasty way to keep kidney disease at bay
27 April 2011
New research funded by charity Kidney Research UK has found that foods containing pectin such as apples, oranges and jam could help reduce the effects of kidney disease.
Researchers at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, funded by Kidney Research UK, have successfully demonstrated that a form of pectin called modified citrus pectin (MCP) could dramatically reduce kidney damage over a sustained period, and potentially improve the lives of thousands.
It’s estimated that 47,000 people in the UK are treated for kidney failure every year, a figure which is set to rise as the prevalence of the illness increases at an annual rate of more than 5 per cent.
Patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) face the prospect of a life-time on dialysis, or waiting indefinitely for a kidney transplant – there is currently a severe shortage of transplant organs in the UK, with 90 per cent of patients on the Organ Donor Register (7,000 people) waiting for a kidney.
Dr Paul Winyard, project lead for Kidney Research UK, said that the study could pave the way for a new treatment for some of these thousands:
“Our study has shown some incredible results and suggests that including more pectin in your diet could protect yourself from kidney disease,” explained Dr Winyard.
“We now know that MCP, a derivative of pectin which is a soluble dietary fibre found in the peel and pulp of many foods including citrus fruit, reduces the severity of renal disease by altering extracellular functions and inflammation.
“This could dramatically benefit kidney patients as the study shows that pectin could be protective before the onset of kidney damage in an individual - offering a potential breakthrough into preventing the disease.”
Dr David Long, Senior Kidney Research UK Fellow and joint author of the study, went on to say “This work clearly identifies a novel potential therapy for kidney injury. Our next step is to understand how pectin works on a molecular level and to determine if pectin could be an effective treatment in patients that already have established renal disease and reverse the damage to their kidneys. We’d then look to investigate how much pectin is needed for this type of treatment to be effective.”
Prof. Neil Turner, chairman of Kidney Research UK also welcomed the news:
“This is an extremely promising discovery which could very well lead to more effective forms of treatment for the thousands of people in the UK who suffer from chronic kidney disease.
"There is a pressing need for better treatments to prevent the worsening of kidney function, and Kidney Research UK is keen to fund more research to find and test these.”
To find out more about kidney disease and how to support the research conducted by Kidney Research UK, please visit: www.kidneyresearchuk.org.uk.
Page last modified on 27 apr 11 15:37