Fruits and vegetables improve BP control in CKD patients with associated metabolic acidosis Treating metabolic acidosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with base-producing fruits and vegetables but not sodium bicarbonate lowered the systolic blood pressure followed by use of fewer anti-hypertensive drugs and those too in lower doses, says a study presented at the Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Orlando, Florida on September 14, 2016. The treatment costs were also reduced. In the study, researchers randomized 108 subjects with CKD stage 3 eGFR (30-59 ml/min) and metabolic acidosis into three groups: One group received fruits and vegetables to reduce dietary potential renal acid load (PRAL) 50%, the second group was given oral sodium bicarbonate to reduce PRAL 50% and the third group received usual care and no alkali. After five years, the average systolic blood pressure was lower in the fruit and vegetable group (125 mm Hg) vs sodium bicarbonate (135 mm Hg) group vs no alkali group (134 mm Hg). Also, the average cost of drugs to maintain the blood pressure was nearly half in the fruit and vegetable group ($79,760) vs the sodium bicarbonate group ($155,372) vs no alkali group ($152,305) at five years.