A low protein diet (LPD) has historically been used to delay uremic symptoms and decrease nitrogen (N)-derived catabolic products in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In recent years it has become evident that nutritional intervention is a necessary approach to prevent wasting and reduce CKD complications and disease progression. While a 0.6 g/kg, high biological value protein-based LPD has been used for years, recent observational studies suggest that plant-derived LPDs are a better approach to nutritional treatment of CKD. However, plant proteins are less anabolic than animal proteins and amino acids contained in plant proteins may be in part oxidized; thus, they may not completely be used for protein synthesis. In this review, we evaluate the role of LPDs and plant-based LPDs on maintaining skeletal muscle mass in patients with CKD and examine different nutritional approaches for improving the anabolic properties of plant proteins when used in protein-restricted diets.
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