A nitrogen-free diet protects kidneys of people with chronic kidney disease and slows down progression of the disease, postponing need for dialysis and kidney replacement by many years. The special diet uses ketoanalogues — nitrogen-free analogues of essential amino acids, the building blocks of all proteins — as a protein source as nitrogen accelerates disease progression.
“Ketoanalogues is a way of providing amino acids (proteins) without the nitrogen load while ensuring protein restriction does not lead to malnutrition, which can worsen a patient's condition. Ketoanalogues capture the nitrogen within the body and convert themselves into amino acids,” said Dr KS Nayak, chief nephrologist at Global Hospital, Hyderabad, who is in New Delhi for the 4th International Ketoanalogue Symposium that began here on Saturday.
“Diabetes is the main cause of kidney insufficiency in India which can eventually cause kidney failure. Since increased blood sugar damages capillaries and nerves that support kidney function, diabetics should eat less protein but ensure the protein they have comes from sources that are easily assimilated by the body tissue,” adds Dr Nayak.
These are also available as tablets and a month's dose for an adult with chronic kidney disease is between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 a month. Adequate protein or amino acid intake is therefore necessary to rule out protein malnutrition without overburdening kidney capacity with waste products such as urea caused by protein breakdown.