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UKidney Nephrology News and Insights

Vitamin D in CKD: Case Closed

Vitamin D in CKD: Case Closed

Session: High-Impact Clinical Trials

Sub-session: Effects of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Kidney Function and Damage in Type 2 Diabetes

Presenter: Ian H. de Boer, MD, MS, Division of Nephrology and Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington

Ian H. de BoerIan H. de BoerIt’s official. Two supplement darlings — Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid (often sold as fish oil) — do not help people with type 2 diabetes stave off chronic kidney disease. That’s according to a five-year study of kidney function, which included 1,312 adults with type 2 diabetes.

Trial participants were randomly assigned to vitamin D3 (2000 IU daily) or placebo and to omega-3 fatty acids (eicospentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, 1 g daily) or placebo.

“This trial asked if we could use widely available, inexpensive, and relatively safe supplements to prevent chronic kidney disease or prevent progression early in the course of type 2 diabetes,” explained study lead author Ian de Boer, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine.”Why do we like agents like these? As we all know, diabetes is a worldwide epidemic, with the National Diabetes Federation estimating that 425 million people had diabetes in 2017. We also know that the prevalence of diabetes has increased over the years and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease with diabetes has increased proportionately. Of course, diabetic kidney disease is the leading cause of end stage kidney disease in the united states. So, we hoped to effectively impact this problem with Vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids.”

While trial results dashed those hopes, Dr. de Boer did close on a positive note.  “Even if it’s not the result we hoped for, closing a chapter is useful for patients and clinicians and researchers alike.”

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