Skip to content

What is the impact of different types of dialysis on levels of protein?

03 August 2023

Bruno Mafrici from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded an Allied Health Professional Fellowship grant of £211,000 to investigate whether different types of dialysis affect nutritional loss and whether increased protein consumption could improve outcomes in patients receiving dialysis. 

The problem

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment that uses equipment to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys are no longer working properly. However, patients can also lose nutrients such as protein, micronutrients, and water-soluble vitamins, which are essential for the body to function properly.

Previous research has suggested that people on dialysis should eat more protein to make up for losses during dialysis sessions. However, this research was done a long time ago, and the materials in the dialysis machines have been updated. The previous research also only focused on patients undergoing haemodialysis (a type of dialysis that uses a machine to cleans the patient’s blood via special filters) and peritoneal dialysis (where the blood is cleaned inside the body using the lining of the tummy as a filter), but not on those receiving home haemodialysis or nocturnal haemodialysis.  

Headshot of Bruno
Bruno Mafrici

The solution

New information is needed to understand whether the type of dialysis influences how many nutrients are lost, and whether nutritional losses during dialysis have an effect on patient health, quality of life and outcomes.

Bruno and his team will measure protein losses in patients on all types of dialysis methods and will investigate whether extra protein (the specific amount will be personalised to each patient) in the diet could improve quality of life and survival. 

"Our research will aim to increase our knowledge and understanding of protein balance in people on different dialysis modalities. We will measure the losses of protein in different dialysis modalities and understand if a tailored protein intake when starting dialysis is linked to significant improvement in patients' clinical outcomes and quality of life. I am truly honoured to have received this fellowship from Kidney Research UK. I am looking forward to this next chapter and I am keen to expand my knowledge and skills by doing research in the renal dietetic field." Bruno Mafrici

What this means for kidney patients

If Bruno finds a link between protein supplementation* and better outcomes for patients receiving dialysis, this could provide a simple, easy to implement way to improve both quality of life and survival that can be easily tailored to each patient. 

*This is an experimental study. Please consult your doctor before taking any non-prescribed treatments or supplements. 

Research news

Why not make a donation now?

(Every £ counts)

Scroll To Top