A controlled diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate can repair kidney damage in diabetic mice, according to US scientists.
The study, published in journal PLoS ONE, showed a "ketogenic diet" could reverse damage caused to tubes in the kidneys by too much sugar in the blood.
In the UK around a third of the 2.8m people with either type 1 or 2 diabetes go on to develop kidney damage.
Diabetes UK said it was "questionable" whether humans could sustain the diet.
The researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York used mice with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Once kidney damage had developed, half the mice were put onto the ketogenic diet for eight weeks.
The highly controlled diet, which is 87% fat, mimics the effect of starvation and should not be used without medical advice.
After eight weeks the researchers noted that kidney damage was reversed.
Professor Charles Mobbs, who led the research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said: "Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes.
"I certainly think it has promise, but I can't recommend it until we have done clinical trials."
The researchers also need to figure out the exact process that leads to repair.
via BBC News - Diet 'can reverse kidney failure' in mice with diabetes.