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September 28, 2023

Study will explore treatment of acidosis through diet

A study in Winnipeg and Halifax will take a preliminary look at the effects of treating acidosis with a diet of alkalizing fruit and vegetables, compared to the standard treatment of sodium bicarbonate tablets.

Metabolic acidosis is a common complication of advanced kidney disease – whereby the kidneys are not able to excrete acid adequately – that can result in unpleasant and harmful complications. It is typically treated with sodium bicarbonate tablets, but many patients stop taking this medication due to challenging side effects. However, some evidence suggests that a diet of alkalizing fruit and vegetables could be a viable alternative treatment option (chemically speaking, alkalizing fruit and vegetables could theoretically reduce the overall acidity of a person’s diet, reducing the amount of acid kidneys need to excrete and alleviating symptoms of acidosis).

To explore this possibility in more detail, Dr. Rebecca Mollard and colleagues will be conducting a feasibility trial whereby a total of 40 eligible participants will be randomized into two groups: one that receives alkalizing fruit and vegetables (experimental) group or sodium bicarbonate (control) group. Patients in the experimental group will receive fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables that meet their dietary needs, as well as consultations with a dietitian. The results of this study will help inform the design of a future trial (e.g., in terms of participant recruitment and retention strategies), and assess the effectiveness of fruit and vegetables in management of metabolic acidosis and participants’ quality of life. This study was identified as a priority by patient partners living with kidney disease, and could pave the way for larger clinical trials on dietary treatment of metabolic acidosis in the future, the authors say.

Reducing Dietary Acid With Fruit and Vegetables Versus Oral Alkali in People With Chronic Kidney Disease (ReDACKD): A Clinical Research Protocol

Mollard R, Cachero K, Luhovyy B, Martin H, Moisiuk S, Mahboobi S, Balshaw R, Collister D, Cahill L, Tennankore KK, Tangri N, MacKay D

Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease