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Thursday
Sep152016

Healthy Diet Could Mean Fewer Medications for Some

People with kidney disease who eat more fruits and vegetables may require far fewer medications -- about half -- according to a new study.

Researchers at Texas Tech University found dietary changes allowed for better management of blood pressure and lessened the amount of medication by significant margins, according to the study, presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure 2016 Scientific Sessions.

Diseased kidneys have reduced ability to eliminate acid, causing metabolic acidosis, or high acid levels in the blood, which is often treated with sodium bicarbonate.

For the study, researchers randomized 108 participants to either receive sodium bicarbonate, increase intake of fruits and vegetables or receive no treatment for acidosis. All of the patients also were treated with medications to reduce their blood pressure, as well.

After five years, the average systolic blood pressure of participants eating more fruits and vegetables was lower than those those treated with sodium bicarbonate or not treated.

In addition, patients changing their diet, rather than receiving sodium bicarbonate or nothing, saw the costs of their blood pressure medication drop by nearly half when compared to the other groups: For those receiving no treatment, the cost was $152,305, and for patients on sodium bicarbonate, treatments cost $155,372, while the fruit and vegetable group saw their costs drop to about $79,760.

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