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Processed Foods Spur Kidney Disease: Study

Processed foods such as chocolate, chips, and bread increase the risk of kidney disease, an Australian study has revealed.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Diets high in processed foods — from chocolate and chips to bread — increase the risk of kidney disease, an Australian study has shown.

The Monash University study found some chemical compounds in processed foods prompt “leaky gut syndrome,” in which the intestinal lining becomes more porous, triggering inflammation and poor gut health.

The study has revealed that owing to the damages done to the kidney, the long-term effects include an increase in the odds of developing chronic kidney disease.

This ultimately increases the odds of developing chronic kidney disease.

These chemical compounds, known as Advanced Glycation End Products, add flavor to food and increase their sensory effect.

Chips, bread, bakery products, chocolate, and confectionery contain Advanced Glycation End Products. These are harmful compounds that are formed when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream.

However, the study, published in Science Advances, also found the body’s inflammatory response could be “switched off” by consuming foods with high resistant starch fiber such as oats, rice, legumes, and potatoes.

These foods help gut bacteria ferment anti-inflammatory metabolites.

Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan said in a statement on April 1 that about 10 percent of the world’s population is affected by kidney disease.

Processed foods increased the likelihood of kidney disease and diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, and stomach diseases.

“We can look to make alternative food formulations or functional foods aimed at dampening the body’s (inflammatory) response,” Coughlan said.

“Given the increasing interest in the effects of processed food on health, we believe that these findings represent an important step towards understanding and countering the detrimental features of the modern diet.”

In another study conducted in 2019 in the United States, 72 percent of respondents claimed that they had a strong affinity towards snack food like nuts and chips, while 60 percent possessed a sweet tooth.

However, the study, published in Science Advances, also found the body’s inflammatory response could be “switched off” by consuming foods with high resistant starch fiber such as oats, rice, legumes, and potatoes. These foods help gut bacteria ferment anti-inflammatory metabolites.

The Australian study also revealed that processed foods increased the likelihood of kidney disease and diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, and stomach diseases.

Around 10 percent of the world population is battling Chronic Kidney Disease, as per the National Kidney Foundation, a US-based organization working towards awareness and treatment accessibility of chronic kidney disease.

Monash will this year conduct a clinical trial in which people with early diabetic kidney disease are given foods with high resistant starch fiber.

(Edited by Amrita Das and Ritaban Misra)