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Multivitamins improve health outcomes for kidney disease patients
Taking multi-vitamins could help improve the health of kidney disease patients undergoing blood dialysis - according to new research from the University of Ulster.
The combination of a restricted diet and constant dialysis leaves kidney disease patients vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies; this may be linked to the higher rates of premature death, especially from heart attacks or stroke, among these patients. A variety of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, folate, B12, B6 and the amino acid arginine, have a vital role in maintaining a healthy circulatory system.
The researchers found that a multi vitamin enhanced antioxidant activity; antioxidants help to protect body tissue from the effects of free radicals, substances generated by chemical reactions that are damaging when they react with oxygen. They also found that there was a reduction in the production of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of cardio-vascular disease.
The research team, which also includes renal dietician Twyla Moffitt and Dr Peter Garrett, renal consultant, are currently seeking funding to extend this pilot study to a larger number of patients for a longer duration of time.
"We hope that this type of intervention may provide the evidence base required to introduce this type of regime into clinical care in haemodialysis patients in Northern Ireland," Dr Hannon-Fletcher added.
The results follow those of a study last year, in which 102 patients were followed for four years or until death. Patients who received multivitamins during follow-up had a significantly lower mortality risk than those not receiving supplements.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements offer a convenient solution to those who's ability to meet their nutritional requirements is compromised; an ever expanding body of research indicates the potential of multi-nutrient supplementation to optimise health among all population groups.