Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora, study finds

October 9, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Chronic kidney disease changes the composition of intestinal bacterial microbes that normally play a crucial role in staving off disease-causing pathogens and maintaining micronutrient balance, according to UC Irvine researchers.

This profound alteration of the gut may contribute to the production of uremic toxins, systemic and local , and nutritional abnormalities present in patients with advanced , they said.

Study leader Dr. N.D. Vaziri of the UCI School of Medicine's Division of Nephrology & Hypertension noted that consumption of high-fiber foods and better control of uremia – a disease common in kidney failure – by diet and dialysis may improve the composition of gut and the well-being of patients.

The researchers studied microbial DNA extracted from the stool samples of a group of renal failure patients and healthy control individuals. They found marked differences in the abundance of some 190 types of bacteria in the gut microbiome of those with kidney disease – and confirmed the results in a concurrent study of rats with and without .

Vaziri explained that nitrogen-rich waste products – particularly urea and uric acid, which are usually excreted by the kidneys – accumulate in the body fluids of patients with renal failure. This leads to the massive release of these waste products in the gastrointestinal tract, supporting the growth and dominance of microbial species that can utilize these compounds.

The impact of this flooding of the gut by nitrogenous waste products in patients with advanced , Vaziri added, is compounded by dietary restrictions on fruits and vegetables, which contain the indigestible fibers that favorable gut microbes feed on. This is because fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of potassium, a mineral normally excreted by the kidneys. In cases of renal failure, potassium levels are high, increasing the risk of cardiac arrest.

One solution, Vaziri said, is to provide longer, more frequent dialysis treatments. This would let more potassium be removed by dialysis and allow for more potassium in the diet. Alternatively, packaged fiber foods that do not contain potassium could be used as a dietary supplement.

Dr. Madeleine Pahl, Dr. Jun Yuan and Dr. Zhenmin Ni of UCI; Jakk Wong, Yvette Piceno, Tien-Hung Nguyen and Gary Andersen of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Todd DeSantis of San Bruno-based Second Genome participated in the study, which appears online in Kidney International.

The work adds to a growing body of evidence pointing to the role of gut bacteria in disease and health. Recent research by other groups has identified changes in the of intestinal microbial flora in people with diabetes, colorectal cancer, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, among other conditions.

Explore further: Major cause of chronic kidney disease-related inflammation is identified

More information: www.nature.com/ki/journal/vaop … full/ki2012345a.html

Related Stories

Major cause of chronic kidney disease-related inflammation is identified

December 13, 2011
UC Irvine researchers have uncovered an important source of inflammation seen in people with chronic kidney disease, which is increasingly common due to the epidemic of obesity-related diabetes and hypertension.

Intravenous kidney cell transplant experiments raise hope for future human kidney failure treatments

May 31, 2012
Indiana University School of Medicine scientists have successfully transplanted primary kidney cells intravenously to treat renal failure in rats, pointing the way to a possible future alternative to kidney transplants and ...

Could 'friendly' gut bacteria help fight heart disease?

July 17, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the University of Reading are looking at ways of tackling heart disease and diabetes - through our guts.

Chronic kidney disease a recipe for kidney failure? Not necessarily

March 8, 2012
Not all patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are destined for kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings provide hope that ...

Recommended for you

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

New Lyme disease tests could offer quicker, more accurate detection

December 7, 2017
New tests to detect early Lyme disease - which is increasing beyond the summer months -could replace existing tests that often do not clearly identify the infection before health problems occur.

Spinal tap needle type impacts the risk of complications

December 6, 2017
The type of needle used during a lumbar puncture makes a significant difference in the subsequent occurrence of headache, nerve irritation and hearing disturbance in patients, according to a study by Hamilton medical researchers.

Men with HPV are 20 times more likely to be reinfected after one year

December 5, 2017
A new analysis of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) in men shows that infection with one HPV type strongly increases the risk of reinfection with the same type. In fact, men who are infected with the type responsible for ...

New tuberculosis drugs possible with understanding of old antibiotic

December 5, 2017
Tuberculosis, and other life-threatening microbial diseases, could be more effectively tackled with future drugs, thanks to new research into an old antibiotic by the University of Warwick and The Francis Crick Institute.

Scientists create successful mass production system for bioengineered livers

December 5, 2017
Researchers report creating a biologically accurate mass-production platform that overcomes major barriers to bioengineering human liver tissues suitable for therapeutic transplant into people.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.