Calorie restriction in obesity: Prevention of kidney disease in rodents

Judith S. Stern, Mathew D. Gades, Carrie M. Wheeldon, Andrea T. Borchers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has risen considerably in the past two decades. This trend is partly due to the alarming rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes over the same period, which in turn might be linked to the staggering increase in overweight and obesity. If these trends continue, ESRD can be expected not only to cause suffering of ever growing numbers of patients, but also to become an increasing financial as well as logistical burden on the health care system. Therefore, it is imperative not only to gain a better understanding of the molecular, cellular and metabolic mechanisms involved in renal pathology, but also to uncover treatment modalities, including lifestyle changes, that can help prevent and/or slow the progression of kidney pathogenesis. Insights into both of these aspects are provided by animal models of obesity and diabetes. It has long been known that food restriction, more so than restriction of any particular dietary component, can greatly enhance longevity in laboratory rodents. These findings are being extended into a variety of other mammals, including nonhuman primates. These studies have indicated that caloric restriction in nonobese laboratory animals does not primarily affect specific disease processes but rather nonspecifically slows the aging process. In contrast, a growing body of evidence suggests that in genetically obese animals, food restriction can prevent or greatly delay the onset of specific degenerative lesions, in particular glomerulonephritis associated with obesity and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Caloric restriction
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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