Maintaining kidney health is essential for filtering waste and water from the blood, as well as for eliminating waste and excess fluid by producing urine. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a general term for any condition that causes kidney damage and reduces kidney function over time. To prevent chronic kidney disease, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends stopping smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and working with your health professional to achieve a healthy weight. In addition, including certain vitamin supplements in your daily diet can help maintain kidney health and slow the progression of complications of chronic kidney disease.
Vitamins A, E, and K should be avoided if you have kidney disease, as they can build up in the body and cause harm if taken in excess. Vitamin C may be recommended in low doses, as large doses can cause an accumulation of oxalate in people with kidney disease. Oxalate can stay in bones and soft tissue, which can cause pain and other problems over time. Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin, as well as some C vitamins, are essential vitamins for people with chronic kidney disease.
Resveratrol, found in grapes, berries and peanuts, has been found to protect the kidneys from a variety of toxins. A meta-analysis identified healthy dietary patterns that were associated with a lower mortality rate in people with chronic kidney disease. Evidence suggests that the best foods for kidney health are vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and cereals, all of which are excellent sources of dietary fiber. Foods to avoid with chronic kidney disease include red meat, salt, and refined sugars.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant that can help treat one of the complications seen in kidney disease, cardiovascular disease (CVD). Animal studies suggest that moringa may prevent kidney problems. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amino acid and a precursor to glutathione which may benefit patients on hemodialysis by reducing oxidative stress and improving the outcomes of uremic anemia. The scientific literature suggests that dysbiosis is associated with increased levels of urea toxin that may accelerate the development of chronic kidney disease.
A meta-analysis evaluated the effects of probiotic supplementation for at least four weeks in people with chronic kidney disease. In animal models, resveratrol has been shown to protect against several kidney problems. Nutrients such as pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P), CoQ10, silymarin, resveratrol and lipoic acid are clinically supported and are powerful interventions for improving kidney health. Omega-3 fatty acids help calm inflammation and help improve kidney health.
A number of additional nutrients complement these actions such as folic acid (folate) and vitamins C and E.