Plant-Based Milk Might Benefit Patients with CKD, Finds Study
Patients with kidney stones are counselled to eat a diet low in animal protein, sodium, and oxalate and rich in fruits and vegetables, with a modest amount of calcium, usually from dairy products. A recent study suggests that plant-based milk poses a favourable favourable dairy substitute for patients with chronic kidney disease. The study findings were published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition on May 24, 2021.
Recently, plant-based diets have gained popularity owing to health, environmental, and animal welfare considerations. As consumption of plant-based dairy substitutes increases, it is important for healthcare providers and patients with renal conditions to be aware of their nutritional composition. Therefore, Dr James F. Borin and his team conducted a study to compare concentrations of ingredients important for kidney stones and chronic kidney disease in popular brands of milk alternatives.
The researchers used nutrition labels of plant-based milk to assess the sodium, calcium, and potassium contents to compare it with dairy milk. They measure the oxalate content by ion chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry.
Key findings of the study were:
- Upon evaluation, the researchers noted that macadamia followed by soy, almond, rice, and dairy milk had high calcium content whereas, cashew, hazelnut, and coconut milk had low calcium content.
- They noted that almond milk has the highest oxalate concentration, followed by cashew, hazelnut, and soy.
- They found that coconut and flax milk has undetectable oxalate levels and, further, coconut milk also has comparatively low sodium, calcium, and potassium, while flax milk has the most sodium.
- They also found that oat milk has the most similar parameters to dairy milk (moderate calcium, potassium and sodium with low oxalate).
- They observed similar parameters of dairy milk in rice, macadamia, and soy milk.
The authors concluded, "Oat, macadamia, rice, and soy milk compare favourably in terms of kidney stone risk factors with dairy milk, whereas almond and cashew milk have more potential stone risk factors."
They further added, "Coconut milk may be a favourable dairy substitute for patients with chronic kidney disease based on low potassium, sodium, and oxalate. Further study is warranted to determine the effect of plant-based milk alternatives on urine chemistry."
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