Of Mice and Men: The Effect of Maternal Protein Restriction on Offspring's Kidney Health. Are Studies on Rodents Applicable to Chronic Kidney Disease Patients? A Narrative Review

Massimo Torreggiani, Antioco Fois, Claudia D'Alessandro, Marco Colucci, Alejandra Oralia Orozco Guillén, Adamasco Cupisti, Giorgina Barbara Piccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In the almost 30 years that have passed since the postulation of the "Developmental Origins of Health and Disease" theory, it has been clearly demonstrated that a mother's dietary habits during pregnancy have potential consequences for her offspring that go far beyond in utero development. Protein malnutrition during pregnancy, for instance, can cause severe alterations ranging from intrauterine growth retardation to organ damage and increased susceptibility to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney disease (CKD) later in life both in experimental animals and humans. Conversely, a balanced mild protein restriction in patients affected by CKD has been shown to mitigate the biochemical derangements associated with kidney disease and even slow its progression. The first reports on the management of pregnant CKD women with a moderately protein-restricted plant-based diet appeared in the literature a few years ago. Today, this approach is still being debated, as is the optimal source of protein during gestation in CKD. The aim of this report is to critically review the available literature on the topic, focusing on the similarities and differences between animal and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1614
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2020

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