Page last updated: August 16, 2013
A light consumption wine might help kidneys stay healthy

A paper presented the Spring Clinical Meetings of the National kidney Foundation in March suggests that an occasional glass of wine might help keep kidneys healthy and for those who already have kidney disease, which puts one at higher risk for cardiovascular problems, moderate wine drinking might help the heart, the researchers added.

The study author Dr Tapan Metha, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora presented the preliminary findings. “Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine…”Those with chronic kidney disease who drank less than one glass a day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events [than those who drank no wine],” he added.

Mehta and his colleagues looked at data from the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination that included nearly 6,000 people. Of those, about 1,000 had chronic kidney disease.

Having chronic kidney disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. About 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Previous research has found that moderate drinking is linked to heart benefits. That is why Mehta decided to look at both questions: whether moderate drinking could help those with chronic kidney disease lower their risk of cardiovascular problems, and whether it can help those with healthy kidneys keep them that way.

Exactly why wine might be beneficial is not known for sure, Mehta said. Drinking moderate amounts is linked with lower levels of protein in the urine. In those who have kidney disease, higher protein levels in the urine are linked with an increased risk of progression of kidney disease. The polyphenols found in wine have antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help explain the protective heart effects, he said. The study did not differentiate between red and white wine, so there is no indication as to whether red wine is better than white, however Metha stated that he suspects that red would most likely be better, as it has been linked previously to being heartprotective.

The study suggests wine is protective against kidney disease and, in those with kidney disease, heart disease, ‘’but we cannot make any firm cause and effect conclusion,” Mehta said. While the study found an association, it was not designed to prove a causeand- effect relationship.

The new findings are consistent with previous research, said Dr Gary Curhan, a professor of medicine at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Curhan’s team has found there may be an inverse association between moderate drinking and kidney problems.

Thomas Manley, director of scientific activities at the National Kidney Foundation said that moderation is key for kidney patients when it comes to alcohol consumption, with a few caveats. “Excess alcohol consumption has definitely been shown to have a negative effects on kidney function. Alcohol can also worsen hypertension, a major cause of chronic kidney disease, so those with poorly controlled hypertension should definitely limit the amount of alcohol they consume. It’s important also to consider the nutritional contents of the various alcoholic drinks to be sure they comply with the prescribed renal diet.”cfm

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