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Chewing Gum Helps Treat Hyperphosphatemia In Kidney Disease Patients

Date:
February 20, 2009
Source:
American Society of Nephrology
Summary:
Chewing gum made with a phosphate-binding ingredient can help treat high phosphate levels in dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a new study. The results suggest that this simple measure could maintain proper phosphate levels and help prevent cardiovascular disease in these patients.

Chewing gum made with a phosphate-binding ingredient can help treat high phosphate levels in dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study appearing in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that this simple measure could maintain proper phosphate levels and help prevent cardiovascular disease in these patients.

Hyperphosphatemia (high levels of phosphate in the blood) commonly occurs in CKD patients on dialysis. Even when patients take medications to reduce phosphate acquired through their diet, about half of them cannot reduce phosphate to recommended levels.

Because patients with hyperphosphatemia also have high levels of phosphate in their saliva, researchers tested whether there might be a benefit to binding salivary phosphate during periods of fasting, in addition to using phosphate binders with meals. Vincenzo Savica, MD, of the University of Messina, and Lorenzo A. Calς MD, PhD, of the University of Padova, Italy and their colleagues recruited 13 dialysis patients with high blood phosphate levels to chew 20 mg of phosphate-binding chewing gum twice daily for two weeks between meals, in addition to their prescribed phosphate-binding regimen.

Dr. Savica and Dr. Calς's team found that salivary phosphate and blood phosphate levels significantly decreased during the first week of chewing, and by the end of two weeks, salivary phosphate decreased 55% and blood phosphate decreased 31% from levels measured at the start of the study. Salivary phosphate returned to its original level by day 15 after discontinuing the chewing gum, whereas blood phosphate took 30 days to return to its original value.

While these observations are preliminary and require confirmation in a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study with more participants, the findings indicate that this chewing regimen might help control phosphate levels in patients with CKD. "Adding salivary phosphate binding to traditional phosphate binders could be a useful approach for improving treatment of hyperphosphatemia in hemodialysis patients," the authors concluded.

The study authors declare CM&D Pharma Limited, UK as a financial interest, for their supply of the experimental chewing gum.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Savica et al. Salivary Phosphate-Binding Chewing Gum Reduces Hyperphosphatemia in Dialysis Patients. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, March 2009 DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2008020130

Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology. "Chewing Gum Helps Treat Hyperphosphatemia In Kidney Disease Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212150854.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology. (2009, February 20). Chewing Gum Helps Treat Hyperphosphatemia In Kidney Disease Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212150854.htm
American Society of Nephrology. "Chewing Gum Helps Treat Hyperphosphatemia In Kidney Disease Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212150854.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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