HealthDay — Patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease who routinely consume meat-rich, highly-acidic diets may increase their risk for kidney failure, results of a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggest.

“Small clinical trials have shown that a reduction in dietary acid load (DAL) improves kidney injury and slows kidney function decline; however, the relationship between DAL and risk of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in a population-based cohort with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains unexamined,” noted Tanushree Banerjee, PhD, of the San Francisco General Hospital, and colleagues.

To examine the association between DAL and progression to ESRD in a nationally representative sample of adult patients in the United States, the investigators followed 1,586 patients with CKD aged 20 years or older who were enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II. Each patient’s intake of high-acid foods such as meat was tracked by the researchers.

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During roughly 14 years of follow-up, the scientists found that those who consumed high-acid diets appeared to face triple the risk of kidney failure compared with those who consumed low-acid diets.

“Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid-rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failure, in addition to employing recommended guidelines such as taking kidney-sparing medication and avoiding kidney toxins,” said Banerjee in an American Society of Nephrology news release.

“The high costs and suboptimal quality of life that dialysis treatments bring may be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.”


  1. Banerjee T et al. JASN. 2015; doi: 10.1681/ASN.201404033