The findings, presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013, analysed data from 1,104 people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, and asked them about their animal and vegetable protein intake.
Led by Xiaorui Chen from the University of Utah, the team noted that poor kidney function as found in CKD means toxins that are normally excreted in the urine can build up in the blood of individuals, with previous research suggesting that vegetable protein intake in patients is linked with lower production of such toxins when compared with animal protein.
However, until now, it remained unclear whether consuming more vegetable protein was able to improve survival of kidney disease by this mechanism.
After controlling for a variety of factors including age, smoking, and BMI, Chen and his team found that for each 10 gram increase in vegetable protein intake per day, participants had a 14% lower risk of dying by the end of 2006.
"Interventional trials are needed to establish whether increasing vegetable protein will decrease mortality in the CKD population," they wrote.