Chewing gum helps treat hyperphosphatemia in kidney disease patients

Feb 12, 2009

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. Calň 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. Calň'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.

More information: The article, entitled "Salivary Phosphate-Binding Chewing Gum Reduces Hyperphosphatemia in Dialysis Patients," is currently online and will appear in the March 2009 print issue of JASN, doi 10.1681/ASN.2008020130.

Source: American Society of Nephrology

Explore further: CHOP global health focuses on children with cerebral palsy in southern Africa

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

13 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

17 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

17 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

Score IDs patients with upper extremity DVT at low risk

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), six easily available factors can be used to create a score that identifies those at low risk of adverse events during the first ...

Combined drug treatment combats kidney disease

16 hours ago

A recent discovery by drug researchers whereby coupling specific cell membrane receptors has altered kidney cell function has triggered a re-think of how to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) more effectively.

Active substance targeting dreaded hospital germs

16 hours ago

In the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have conducted clinical studies on an active substance against the dreaded hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus: a highly effective protein from bacteriophages ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.