In chronic renal failure (CRF), plasma concentrations of the products of protein metabolism are increased. Current dietary management is to prescribe a decrease in protein intake. The use of dietary fiber to increase fetal excretion of retained metabolites in CRF may be a beneficial adjunct to a low-protein diet (LPD). Colonic bacteria ferment dietary fiber, providing them with energy for growth and nitrogen incorporation, in turn, increasing nitrogen excretion in feces. Sixteen CRF patients consuming an LPD were randomly assigned to receive a supplement of a highly fermentable fiber, gum arabic (50 g/d), or a placebo (1 g pectin/d) in a prospective, single-blind, crossover design. Fetal bacterial mass and fetal nitrogen content were significantly increased during supplementation with gum arabic compared with the baseline LPD or supplementation with pectin. Serum urea nitrogen was significantly decreased during supplementation with gum arabic compared with the baseline LPD or supplementation with pectin. Nitrogen balance did not change significantly.
- Gum arabic
- chronic renal failure treatment
- dietary therapy