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Exercise and nutrition interventions for renal cachexia.

Renal cachexia is a deleterious condition characterized by weight loss, muscle wasting and loss of physical function, quality of life, and increased mortality. Multimodal treatment strategies utilizing exercise and nutrition interventions have been recently suggested although the evidence base is still in its infancy.

This paper aimed to review the current literature surrounding the use of exercise and nutrition for renal cachexia. Evidence from systematic reviews and narrative reviews indicates that resistance training (RT) is proven to have beneficial effects on improving muscle strength and in some cases physical function, although effects on muscle mass are mixed and inconclusive.

Further, combined RT and aerobic training (AT) may have also beneficial effects on overall functional capacity and there appears to be no superior mode of protocol (inter/intra-dialysis vs. home-based).

For nutrition, there is new data from systematic review of studies indicating that oral nutritional supplementation (ONS) may have beneficial effects on nutritional status (e.g. body mass index, plasma albumin and handgrip strength).

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in haemodialysis patients from two recent systematic reviews, and evidence from other populations groups indicate they may be beneficial for improving muscle mass and strength. Evidence is accumulating for individual exercise and nutrition components but specific multimodal treatment studies in renal cachexia need to be urgently undertaken.

Adrian Slee


University College London

United Kingdom


ScienceLeadR Reputation
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Main topics

Publications Clinical Trials

Kidney Diseases
Research Design
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