The Protective Effect of Eating Fish On Your Kidneys…

January 6, 2009

Go to fullsize imageWe know the many benefits of eating fish.  I love fish and I cultivate the fun of eating fish rather than meat to my kids.  It may take several trials to be successful but for them to eat fish and enjoy it is worth the many trials.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases gave us a new look at how fish can be beneficial to our kidneys.  The study measure ther urine excretion of albumin which is a measure of kidney damage.



Studies have shown a potential beneficial role for fish and fish oil consumption in the management of diabetes and its complications. The aim of this study is to examine the association between fish consumption and albuminuria in individuals with and without diabetes.

Study Design

A cross-sectional analysis conducted in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer–Norfolk population-based cohort study.

Setting & Participants

22,384 men and women from general practices in the city of Norwich and vicinity, of whom 517 had diabetes by self-report and 21,867 did not report diabetes.


Fish consumption was measured in a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized as less than 1, 1 to 2, and more than 2 portions/wk. Interaction between fish intake and diabetes status was hypothesized a priori.


Prevalences of microalbuminuria were 22.6% in participants with diabetes and 11.4% in participants without diabetes. Prevalences of macroalbuminuria were 8.3% and 0.6%, respectively. Fish consumption was associated with a lower risk of macroalbuminuria in participants with diabetes (odds ratio, 0.22, >2 versus <1 portion/wk; 95% confidence interval, 0.07 to 0.70; P for trend = 0.009) after adjustment for confounding. This association was not observed in participants with diabetes with microalbuminuria or in the nondiabetic population. There was a significant interaction between diabetes status and fish consumption of 1 to 2 portions/wk (P = 0.03) and more than 2 portions/wk (P = 0.007) for risk of macroalbuminuria.


Greater fish intake was associated with a lower risk of macroalbuminuria in a self-defined diabetic population. These findings merit confirmation in prospective studies and intervention trials and suggest that fish intake may be beneficial for albuminuria in people with diabetes.


This study confirms my practice of asking patients to minimize red meat and eat more white meat to help protect their kidneys.  Diabetes continues to be a leading cuase of kidney failure worldwide and haviong dialysis two to three times a week is not only physically disabling but emotionally and financially as well.

So for the new year… even if one is not a diabetic… eating fish should be the way to go.

You Cant Go Wrong With FISH!


Read my previous post on The Benefits of Eating FISH

2 Responses to “The Protective Effect of Eating Fish On Your Kidneys…”

  1. maxim Says:

    I am an advocate of fish diet. Even before the advent of science, our ancestors have already discovered it’s beneficial contribution to the development of civilization. Fish holds many symbolic meanings, among them, fertility, creativity, abundance, knowledge, transformation, etc. In the Bible, it is featured in the story of the fishes and loaves which signify faith and abundance.

    A diet of meat is worth reflecting on. Aside from its unhealthy consequences, there are untold cruelty and inhumane treatment involved in how meat is produced in a consumerist society. If only people would be aware, then I guess their primal and insatiable appetite for meat would take a back seat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: