A Nutraceutical Approach to Pre-Dialysis

Natarajan Ranganathan, Jack Dickstein, John Cardella, Raj Mehta
Kibow Biotech, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 13: Sept 2002 pp. 766A-767A PUB475 4

Nutraceuticals are products presented as either foods or dietary supplements that are believed to have a beneficial effect on human health and/or sense of well being. There is a growing demand in the US for these types of products by the increasingly knowledgeable and health conscious consumer. Our work in the area of nutraceuticals is the development of a product to augment normal kidney functions such as the eradication of nitrogenous wastes.

For persons suffering from renal insufficiency there are no over-the-counter products that can assist the kidney in its normal toxin neutralizing functions. We have focused on the use of combining probiotics (products that facilitate good intestinal health by introducing normal, beneficial microbes such as lactobaccilli or bifidobactrium into the diet) and prebiotics (poly oligosaccharides non-digestible by the human but fermentable “food” to the bacteria previously mentioned) into a synbiotic product (a product that combines prebiotics and probiotics). Our hope is to ultimately provide an alternative or adjunct to conventional therapeutic practices that will be readily available and affordable.

Previously we reported the in vitro success of probiotic formulations and their ability to eliminate nitrogenous wastes such as urea. Briefly, we have evaluated ten microbial species normally isolated from the human intestine and known to have beneficial effects such as the production of urease, short-chain fatty acids and/or bacteriocidins, for the ability to remove urea from a urea fortified artificial intestinal fluid (FAIF). From this research, we have identified several prospective microbial species that could be used in our synbiotic product.

The intent in taking the nutraceutical approach is that we believe that a workable product of this type can be developed, scientifically validated and marketed at considerably less cost and in a more rapid fashion than a traditional biopharmaceutical product that is notoriously difficult to market and prohibitively expensive to develop. We will then pass these benefits directly to the consumer by allowing an affordable (about one dollar per serving) and accessible alternative to augment normal kidney functions not presently available.