Vitamin D deficiency may decrease kidney function in transplant recipients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The finding suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help improve the health of kidney transplant recipients.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in patients with kidney failure. It’s not clear how this affects patients after they receive a kidney transplant. To investigate, Frank Bienaimé, MD (Université Paris Descartes and INSERM and Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris) and his colleagues studied a group of 634 kidney recipients who underwent transplantation between January 2005 and June 2010.
The researchers found that low vitamin D levels measured at three months after transplantation were linked with lower kidney function and increased kidney scarring at 12 months post-transplant. Other hormones involved with mineral metabolism were not predictors of kidney function or scarring after one year.
“This result suggests that maintaining vitamin D concentration within the normal range would prevent renal function deterioration after renal transplantation,” said Dr. Bienaimé. “Vitamin D supplementation, a simple and inexpensive treatment, may improve transplantation outcomes.” He encouraged the design of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the potential of vitamin D supplements to maintain kidney function following transplantation.