WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An occasional
glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research
And for those who already have kidney disease, which puts one at
higher risk for cardiovascular problems, moderate wine drinking
might help the heart, the researchers added.
"Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine," said study author Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora.
"Those with chronic kidney disease who drank less than one glass a day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events [than those who drank no wine]," he added.
Mehta is due to present the findings Wednesday at a National
Kidney Foundation meeting in Las Vegas. Studies presented at
medical meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Mehta and his colleagues looked at data from the 2003 to 2006
National Health and Nutrition Examination that included nearly
6,000 people. Of those, about 1,000 had chronic kidney disease.
Having chronic kidney disease increases the risk of
cardiovascular disease. About 26 million Americans have chronic
kidney disease, often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure,
according to the National Kidney Foundation. Previous research has
found that moderate drinking is linked to heart benefits.
That is why Mehta decided to look at both questions: whether
moderate drinking could help those with chronic kidney disease
lower their risk of cardiovascular problems, and whether it can
help those with healthy kidneys keep them that way.
Exactly why wine might do that is not known for sure, Mehta
said. Drinking moderate amounts is linked with lower levels of
protein in the urine. In those who have kidney disease, higher
protein levels in the urine are linked with an increased risk of
progression of kidney disease.
The polyphenols found in wine have anti-inflammatory and
antioxidant properties, which may help explain the protective heart
effects, he said.
Mehta couldn't say from the study if red wine is better than
white, as those who responded did not say which type they drank,
just if they drank wine and how much they drank.
He suspects, however, that red would most likely be better, as
it has been linked previously to being heart-protective.
The study suggests wine is protective against kidney disease
and, in those with kidney disease, heart disease, ''but we cannot
make any firm cause and effect conclusion," Mehta said. While the
study found an association, it was not designed to prove a
The new findings are consistent with previous research, said Dr.
Gary Curhan, a professor of medicine at Harvard School of Public
Health and Harvard Medical School.
Curhan's team has found there may be an inverse association
between moderate drinking and kidney problems. While the new study
is a cross-sectional one, looking at a snapshot in time, Curhan's
research looked at how drinking affected kidney function over
Both Mehta and Curhan emphasized that moderate alcohol
consumption is key. Mehta said they didn't have enough people in
his study who regularly drank two glasses of wine a day to
determine the effects of drinking more wine.
For those who don't drink alcohol, Curhan noted, the new
research is no reason to start.
To learn more about chronic kidney disease, visit the
National Kidney Foundation.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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