Salt, diet drinks may reduce kidney use

Nov. 2, 2009 at 1:58 AM

BOSTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- People who eat a diet high in salt or artificially sweetened drinks have an increased risk of kidney function decline, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Julie Lin and Dr. Gary Curhan of Brigham and Women's Hospital studied more than 3,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study during an 11-year period to identify the impact of sodium and sweetened drinks on kidney function.

"There are currently limited data on the role of diet in kidney disease," Lin said in a statement. "While more study is needed, our research suggests that higher sodium and artificially sweetened soda intake are associated with greater rate of decline in kidney function."

The authors found "in women with well-preserved kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline, which is consistent with experimental animal data that high sodium intake promotes progressive kidney decline."

The second study, conducted by Lin and Curhan, examined the influence of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages on kidney function decline in the same group of nurses.

The investigation reported "a significant two-fold increased odds, between two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda and faster kidney function decline; no relation between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline was noted."

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego.

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