Dietary protein interventions to improve nutritional status in end-stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis

F.K. Hendriks, J.P. Kooman, L.J.C. van Loon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

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Purpose of reviewPoor nutritional status is prevalent among end-stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis. Chronic hemodialysis patients show an accelerated decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength, which is associated with higher mortality rates and a reduced quality of life. The current review aims to summarize recent advances regarding underlying causes of muscle loss and interventions that support muscle mass maintenance in patients with chronic hemodialysis.Recent findingsMuscle maintenance in chronic hemodialysis patients is compromised by low dietary protein intake levels, anabolic resistance of skeletal muscle tissue, sedentary behavior, and amino acid removal during hemodialysis. Studies assessing the effect of increased protein intake on nutritional status generally show beneficial results, especially in hypoalbuminemic chronic hemodialysis patients. The muscle protein synthetic response following protein ingestion in chronic hemodialysis patients may be enhanced through incorporation of structured physical activity and/or concurrent ketoacid ingestion.SummaryA coordinated program that combines nutritional and physical activity interventions is likely required to attenuate the decline in muscle mass and strength of chronic hemodialysis patients. Nephrologists, dieticians, and exercise specialists should collaborate closely to establish guidelines regarding the appropriate quantity and timing of protein ingestion. In addition, they should provide tailored nutritional and physical activity interventions for chronic hemodialysis patients (see video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, Video abstract,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • kidney disease
  • muscle wasting
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • protein
  • MEAL


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