A diet high in salt and artificially sweetened drinks increases the risk of kidney function decline, according to two separate studies from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
The first study looked at diet and kidney function decline in more than 3,000 women enrolled in the national Nurses' Health Study. In women with good kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline.
The second study looked at the association between sugar-and artificially-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline in the same group of women. Women who consumed two or more daily servings of artificially sweetened soft drinks had a two-fold increased risk of faster kidney function decline.
There was no connection between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline.
Although there's limited data on the role of diet in kidney disease, the most common causes of this disease are diet-related and include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) which damages the blood vessels in the kidney.
According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, an estimated 2 million Canadians have kidney disease, or are at risk.
This research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego in November 2009.
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