Bicarbonate May Be Beneficial in Chronic Kidney Disease

Supplementation slows rate of progression of renal failure to end-stage renal disease

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, bicarbonate supplementation may slow progression to end-stage renal disease, according to a study published online July 16 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Ione de Brito-Ashurst, R.D., of the William Harvey Research Institute in London, and colleagues randomly assigned 134 patients to receive either supplementation with oral sodium bicarbonate or standard care.

After two years, the researchers found that the rate of decline of renal function as assessed by creatinine clearance decreased to 1 ml/min per year in the bicarbonate group, but increased by more than 2.5 ml/min per year in the control group. They also found that bicarbonate was associated with lower rates of rapid progression (9 versus 45 percent) and progression to end-stage renal disease (6.5 versus 33 percent).

"This cheap and simple strategy, which is in line with current renal consensus documents, also improves the nutritional status of patients and has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality-of-life, and clinical outcome benefits," the authors conclude.

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