Treatment of chronic renal failure with dietary fiber
We have tested the hypothesis that dietary fiber, by inhibiting colonic bacterial ammonia generation and increasing fecal nitrogen excretion, might decrease hepatic urea synthesis and thereby reduce plasma urea in patients with chronic renal failure. Six and 8 week courses of two different hemicelluloses, arabinogalactan and ispaghula, reduced mean plasma urea in uremic subjects by 11% and 19% respectively. Ispaghula also reduced the rate of rise of plasma creatinine to zero and, in one formal balance study, increased fecal nitrogen excretion by 39%. Experiments in vitro showed that ispaghula depressed anaerobic fecal bacterial net ammonia generation by 30%, and adsorbed neither urea nor ammonia. The reduction in plasma urea caused by dietary fiber is likely to be due to inhibition of colonic bacterial production of ammonia; such therapy could conceivably alleviate some of the symptoms of uremia and postpone dialysis in patients with endstage renal disease.
Treatment of chronic renal failure with dietary fiber Clin Nephrol. 1984 March