Plant-Based Diets, the Gut Microbiota, and Trimethylamine N-Oxide Production in Chronic Kidney Disease: Therapeutic Potential and Methodological Considerations

Gretchen N. Wiese, Annabel Biruete, Ranjani Moorthi, Sharon M. Moe, Stephen R. Lindemann, Kathleen M. Hill Gallant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

High circulating trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In individuals with CKD, reduced kidney function leads to decreased excretion of TMAO, which results in accumulation in the circulation. Higher circulating TMAO has been linked to higher intake of animal-based foods in omnivorous diets. Thus, plant-based diets have been suggested as an intervention to slow the progression of CKD and reduce cardiovascular risk, perhaps explained in part by reduced TMAO production. This article reviews the current evidence on plant-based diets as a dietary intervention to decrease gut-derived TMAO production in patients with CKD, while highlighting methodological issues that present challenges to advancing research and subsequent translation of this approach. Overall, we find that plant-based diets are promising for reducing gut-derived TMAO production in patients with CKD but that further interventional studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology

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