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Clin Nephrol. 1993 Dec; 40(6): 315-20.

Treatment of proteinuric patients with a vegetarian soy diet and fish oil.

Gentile MG, Fellin G, Cofano F, Delle Fave A, Manna G, Ciceri R, Petrini C, Lavarda F, Pozzi F, D'Amico G.

Division of Nephrology, San Carlo Hospital, Milano, Italy.

Our aim was to determine whether a longer period of treatment with a vegetarian soy diet with addition of fish oil supplements would accentuate the beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia and proteinuria of nephrotic patients we found in a previous study. After an 8-week baseline period on free diet, patients were randomly allocated either on soy diet alone (SD) or to SD plus 5 g/day of fish oil (SD + FO) orally for two months. Then they crossed over to the other treatment for two additional months. They finally resumed eating the free diet for 3 months. We selected 20 outpatients with chronic glomerulonephritis, proteinuria in the nephrotic range, fasting serum cholesterol > 250 mg/dl, mean serum creatinine concentrations 1.75 +/- 0.23 mg/dl. Serum lipid profile, urinary protein loss and nutritional parameters were monitored. With the soy diet, we obtained a significant decrease both of hyperlipidemia and of proteinuria. The effect of the soy diet on proteinuria increased over the 4 months. The addition of a moderate amount (5 g/day) of fish oil in a randomized cross-over design had no further beneficial effect. Stability of serum albumin, transferrin and the body mass index documented good nutritional status. In conclusion, the dietary manipulation with our vegetarian soy diet confirmed the beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia and proteinuria of nephrotic patients. Such effects persisted and even ameliorated after 4 months of diet. The addition of moderate oral supplements of fish oil did not potentiate the beneficial effect.

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