NDT-EDUCATIONAL

Polycystic kidney disease: a diet dividend

What if polycystic kidney disease (PKD) could be combatted with a strategy as simple as dieting? Such a finding would surely be welcome news to the 12 million people worldwide with the genetic disease.

New research from UC Santa Barbara suggests that reducing food intake may slow the growth of the cysts that are symptomatic of PKD, an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop in the kidneys.

A study by biologist Thomas Weimbs and colleagues has demonstrated that in mouse models, a modest decrease in food intake resulted in substantially diminished cyst growth. The findings appear in the American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology.

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