Effect of an intensive nutrition intervention of a high protein and low glycemic-index diet on weight of kidney transplant recipients: study protocol for a randomized clinical trial

Trials. 2017 Sep 6;18(1):413. doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-2158-2.


Background: Excessive weight gain is commonly observed within the first year after kidney transplantation and is associated with negative outcomes, such as graft loss and cardiovascular events. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of a high protein and low glycemic-index diet on preventing weight gain after kidney transplantation.

Methods: We designed a prospective, single-center, open-label, randomized controlled study to compare the efficacy of a high protein (1.3-1.4 g/kg/day) and low-glycemic index diet versus a conventional diet (0.8-1.0 g/kg/day of protein) on preventing weight gain after kidney transplantation. A total of 120 eligible patients 2 months after transplantation will be recruited. Patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate through the modification of diet of renal disease (MDRD) formula < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 or urinary albumin excretion > 300 mg/24 h will be excluded. Patients' diets will be allocated through simple sequential randomization. Patients will be followed-up for 12 months with nine clinic appointments with a dietitian and the evaluations will include nutritional assessment (anthropometrics, body composition, and resting metabolic rate) and laboratory tests. The primary outcome is weight maintenance or body weight gain under 5% after 12 months. Secondary outcomes include body composition, resting metabolic rate, satiety sensation, kidney function, and other metabolic parameters.

Discussion: Diets with higher protein content and lower glycemic index may lead to weight loss because of higher satiety sensation. However, there is a concern about the association of high protein intake and kidney damage. Nevertheless, there is little evidence on the impact of high protein intake on long-term kidney function outcome. Therefore, we designed a study to test if a high protein diet with low-glycemic index will be an effective and safe nutritional intervention to prevent weight gain in kidney transplant patients.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT02883777 . Registered on 3 August 2016.

Keywords: High protein diet; Kidney transplantation; Low glycemic-index diet; Nutrition intervention; Weight.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Brazil
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Diet, High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate / adverse effects
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Satiety Response
  • Time Factors
  • Transplant Recipients*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02883777