Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation

BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1361--1365

Effect of branched chain amino acid supplementation on dialysis adequacy and nutritional parameters in hemodialysis patients


Sameh Abou Zeid1, Ahmed Rabiee2, Fatma A El Refaey3, Nevine Sherif1,  
1 Department of Nephrology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Clinical Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sameh Abou Zeid
Department of Nephrology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute Giza
Egypt

Abstract

Malnutrition in hemodialysis (HD) patients is caused by deficient nutrient and protein intake and has a negative impact on patient outcomes. The assessment of dialysis adequacy in these patients depends to a large extent on the calculation of urea clearance using dialyzer clearance of urea (K) multiplied by the duration of the dialysis treatment (t, in minutes) divided by the volume of distribution of urea in the body (V, in mL); Kt/V. This study aims to detect the effect of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on Kt/V and other nutritional parameters such as serum albumin as well as body mass index. Forty-six patients from the HD Unit of Mostafa Mahmoud Hospital were included in this study. Daily intake of BCAA was continued for three months. At the start of the study, before the intervention, and at the end of the 3rd month, we measured serum albumin, valine, leucine, iso-leucine, and Kt/V. Analysis of data was performed using paired and independent t-test. We found that BCAA has a highly significant effect on increasing the level of albumin, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and Kt/V in HD patients (P <0.001) (Paired t-test). BCAA supplements could be used in this patient population to improve dialysis adequacy and outcome.



How to cite this article:
Zeid SA, Rabiee A, El Refaey FA, Sherif N. Effect of branched chain amino acid supplementation on dialysis adequacy and nutritional parameters in hemodialysis patients.Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2020;31:1361-1365


How to cite this URL:
Zeid SA, Rabiee A, El Refaey FA, Sherif N. Effect of branched chain amino acid supplementation on dialysis adequacy and nutritional parameters in hemodialysis patients. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jul 24 ];31:1361-1365
Available from: https://www.sjkdt.org/text.asp?2020/31/6/1361/308346


Full Text



 Introduction



Malnutrition is one of the common problems of hemodialysis (HD) patients that have a significant effect on morbidity and mortality.[1] In this group of patients there is progressive depletion of protein and energy stores, a condition which has been termed “Protein Energy Wasting”. It has a prevalence of 50%–75% among chronic kidney disease patients (stage IV-V).[2] Main causes of malnutrition among HD patients include deficient nutrient and protein intake due to anorexia, hyper-catabolic state associated with HD and uremic toxins.[3]

One of the most important aspects of the assessment of dialysis patients is the assessment of the dialysis adequacy, calculated by urea clearance through Kt/V or urea reduction ratio (URR). The “KDOQI Clinical Practice Guideline For Hemodialysis: 2015 Update” recommends a target spKt/V (single pool Kt/V) of 1.4 with a minimum of 1.2 for patients undergoing thrice-weekly HD sessions,[4] where K stands for delivered dialyzer urea clearance in milliliters per minute, t is the time in minutes measured from the beginning to end of dialysis and V is the patient’s volume of urea distribution in milliliters.[5]

Dialysis adequacy has been associated with the nutritional status in HD patients, as evidenced by the positive correlation between Kt/V and between serum albumin and body mass index (BMI).[6] The favorable effect of efficient dialysis on the nutritional status has also been confirmed by Hemayati et al., who detected a positive association between Kt/V and between protein catabolic ratio.[7] Whether this relationship can go in the opposite direction has been investigated by Afaghi et al., who found that protein-based oral nutritional supplements increase dialysis adequacy based on Kt/V and URR.[8]

 Aim



In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of daily oral supplementation with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) on dialysis adequacy measured by Kt/V and on other nutritional parameters, such as serum albumin, valine, leucine, and isoleucine in dialysis patients.

 Subjects and Methods



Forty-six patients from the HD Unit of Mostafa Mahmoud Hospital were included in this study. They all underwent dialysis for a period not <6 months.

HD sessions were done three times weekly, 4 h each. Membranes used were high flux polysulfone membranes with a surface area 1.4 m2. Dialysate used was bicarbonate. All patients were dialyzed through AV fistula. Heparin dose was 5000 IU per session and patients did not receive any blood transfusions.

Their serum albumin was <4 g/dL and they had no active infection during the previous 4 months, no respiratory or heart failure, no chronic liver disease (including HBV and HCV), no cancer, dementia, or neurological diseases, and no recent surgery during the previous three months. They did not receive any nutritional supplements before the start of the study.

BCCA preparation used contained L-leucine 2.5 g, L-isoleucine 1.25 g, L-valine 1.25 g per serving (9.5 g).

Daily intake of BCAA was continued for three months and was explained to the patients and caregivers. Patients were reminded to take their supplements and followed up by phone calls. Nutritional counseling was done on a monthly basis.

At the start of the study, before the intervention, and at the end of the 3rd month, we measured serum albumin, valine, leucine, isoleucine, and Kt/V.

 Statistical Analysis



Analysis of data was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 25.0 for Windows (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA).

Description of variables was presented as follows:

Description of quantitative variables was in the form of mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum. The description of qualitative variables was in the form of numbers (No.) and percent (%). Data were explored for normality using Shapiro/Kolomogrov tests of normality. Comparison between quantitative variables was carried out by independent t-test which was used to test the difference between the means of two groups of a scale variable. Comparison between scale variable levels before and after the administration of BCAA was done by paired t-test. Calculation of the percent of the increase was as follows: Increase = New number - Original number. The result is divided by the original number and multiplied by 100. Percent of increase = Increase ÷ Original Number × 100.

The study was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration (1975). All participants gave written informed consent.

 Results



The study was conducted on 46 patients. Their demographic characteristics are represented in [Table 1] and [Table 2].{Table 1}{Table 2}

[Table 3] shows that BCAA has a highly significant effect on increasing the level of albumin, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and Kt/V in HD patients (P <0.001) (Paired t-test).{Table 3}

The percentage of increase for each parameter is presented in [Table 4].{Table 4}

There were nine cases (19.6%) with a steady albumin level in spite of administration of BCAA and there was only one patient (2.25%) with a steady Kt/V.

There was no statistically significant difference between males and females regarding the percentage of increase in levels of albumin, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and Kt/V after BCAA supplementation. (Independent t-test)

There was no correlation between the percentage of increase of different parameters in the studied patients and between age or BMI, except for a moderately positive correlation found between the percentage of increase of leucine and between age (r = 0.395 and P = 0.007) (Pearson correlation test).

When different categories of BMI were compared for the percent of change of studied variables, we could not find a statistically significant difference between them (P >0.05).

 Discussion



In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of BCAA supple-mentation on dialysis adequacy and on nutritional parameters in HD patients. Oral supplements have been invest-tigated before for their beneficial nutritional effects, but few studies have addressed the issue of a positive effect on dialysis adequacy.

In this study, we found a positive outcome of BCAA supplementation, not only on nutritional parameters, represented by serum albumin, leucine, isoleucine, and valine but also on dialysis adequacy represented by Kt/V, which increased from a mean level of 1.1 to 1.3.

This is in accordance with Afaghi et al, who proved that intake of oral nutritional supplements leads to an improvement in the dialysis adequacy of HD patients.[8] Other investigators, however, did not detect such an effect.

Bolasco et al found an increase in Kt/V after oral amino acid supplementation treatment, although this improvement was not a significant one.[9]

Another study done by Sezer et al did not find any improvement in dialysis adequacy guided by URR after oral nutritional supplement taken daily for six months.[10] This discrepancy in results between different studies could be caused by dietary habits or other factors affecting adequacy, hence the need for more detailed larger studies over a longer period to accurately assess the effect of BCAA supplementation in HD patients.

As regard to nutritional parameters in our study, there was a highly significant increase in serum albumin (P <0.001), with a mean rate of increase of 6.3%.

This is in accordance with Hiroshige et al, who found a significant improvement in serum albumin levels in HD patients after daily oral BCAA supplementation for six months. After stopping BCAA, the serum albumin of patients in their study decreased again, although not to their baseline levels.[11]

Valine, leucine and isoleucine levels in our study increased significantly after the three-month supplementation period. Again, this was similar to the results of Hiroshige et al,[11] who also found a positive change in the serum levels of these parameters throughout the duration of supplementation.

In a study by Eustace et al, oral supplementation of essential amino acids significantly increased serum albumin levels in dialysis patients. It also improved muscle metabolism, as evidenced by increased grip strength.[12] This was confirmed in another report by De Bisschop et al, who detected improvement in muscle metabolism, measured by P[31] spectros-copy, after amino acid supplementation in uremic patients.[13]

 Conclusion



BCAA could be used in HD patients to improve dialysis adequacy and outcome, although larger studies over a longer period of time need to be conducted to understand the effect of BCAA supplementation on dialysis adequacy and on different nutritional parameters in these patients.

Conflict of interest: None declared.

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