Background: Controlling malnutrition in hemodialysis (HD) patients is of great concern. On the other hand, managing serum electrolytes including calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium at the same time is critical to improve patients’ survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of whey protein supplementation on serum electrolytes in HD patients.
Methods: Ninety two 17 to 65 years old HD patients were randomly assigned to four groups of (i) receiving whey beverage fortified with vitamin E, (ii) receiving whey beverage, (iii) receiving vitamin E, and (iv) as the control group receiving no intervention (for 8 weeks). At the beginning and at the end of the study phase, serum electrolytes including serum calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium were measured using the automated techniques.
Results: After comparing all groups, it was demonstrated that there were significant decreases in serum phosphorus in group 1 and group 2, that both were significantly different from the control group. On the other hand, in group 3, serum potassium reduced after intervention, which was significantly different form the control group. Serum sodium significantly decreased in group 2 in comparison to control group.
Conclusion: Whey beverage fortified with vitamin E did not disturb HD patients’ serum electrolytes and helped HD patients to improve and control serum electrolytes. This warrants more investigations to find the exact mechanisms of the effects of whey or vitamin E on serum electrolytes.