Association of low potassium diet and folic acid deficiency in patients with CKD
1Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Safed, 2Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Peritoneal Dialysis Unit, Galilee Medical Center, Nahariya, Israel
Background: Most of the folic acid sources are rich also in potassium. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually receive a low potassium diet. We investigated the possibility of an association between low potassium diet and folic acid deficiency.
Methods: In total, 128 CKD patients participated in this cross-sectional study. Sixty-four patients with CKD grades 1 and 2 were on an unrestricted potassium diet when enrolled in the study, and 64 patients with CKD grades 3 and 4 had received instructions to restrict their intake of potassium at least 6 months before enrollment in the study. Subjects were evaluated for daily intake of folic acid (DIFA), daily intake of potassium (DIK), and serum folic acid levels (SFA).
Results: DIFA correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate, the DIK, and the SFA (P<0.001). SFA correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (P<0.001). Mean DIFA and mean SFA were lower among patients with CKD grades 3 and 4 than among those with CKD grades 1 and 2 (P<0.001). The mean DIFA in patients with folic acid deficiency was lower than that in those with SFA ≥7.1 nmol/L (P<0.001). There was lower SFA and threefold greater frequency of folic acid deficiency among patients with CKD grades 3 and 4 who had received instructions to restrict their intake of potassium than among patients with CKD grades 1 and 2 who were on an unrestricted potassium diet.
Conclusion: A potassium-restricted diet offered to patients with CKD grades 3 and 4 may be associated with folic acid deficiency. Serum levels of folic acid should be investigated before starting potassium restriction in patients with CKD grades 3 and 4, in order to identify individuals with folic acid deficiency or with marginal serum levels who should receive folic acid replacement therapy.
Keywords: chronic kidney disease, folic acid, low potassium diet
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