Vitamin D deficiency (hypovitaminosis D) may decrease kidney function in transplant recipients so adequate vitamin D levels are important for maintaining Kidney Transplant health, according to a study that will be presented at American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2013. This is crucial for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients who are considering a Kidney Transplant because emerging evidence suggests that the progression of CKD may be strongly linked to deficiency of vitamin D. A separate study revealed that people with CKD have an exceptionally high rate of severe vitamin D deficiency that is further exacerbated by the reduced ability to convert the vitamin into its active form. Vitamin D has proven to be important in regulating the immune system, decreasing depression, improving CKD cardiovascular systems, and now protecting people with CKD against transplant failure.
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In the study that included 264 Kidney Transplant recipients, researchers measured baseline blood levels of vitamin D and examined their links with kidney function decline, rejection episodes, and death in people with CKD. It was found that low vitamin D predicts adverse transplant outcomes, and vitamin D supplementation soon after kidney transplantation may rather substantially improve outcomes.
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Another study also found that low vitamin D levels measured at three months after transplantation showed lower kidney function and increased kidney scarring at 12 months post-transplant. These results suggest that those with CKD who maintain their vitamin D within sufficient ranges (greater than 20 ng/mL) will have a much better chance of preventing Kidney Transplant failure. KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss vitamin D supplementation with your Nephrologist because it may be a simple and inexpensive strategy to improve your transplant outcomes and maintain your kidney longer.
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"Vitamin D Supplements May Improve Kidney Transplant Recipients' Health." Medical Xpress. Medicalxpress.com.
"Low Vitamin D Linked with Lower Kidney Function after Transplantation."Medicalxpress.com. Medical Xpress/ American Society of Nephrology.
Sandra Williams, MD, Karla Malatesta, BS, and Keith Norris, MD. "Vitamin D and Chronic Kidney Disease." NCBI. U.S. National Library of Medicine.