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A Little Wine Might Help Kidneys Stay Healthy

Less than a glass a day may also help the heart in those who already have kidney disease, researchers found

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.

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.

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