How to Improve Kidney Health with Supplements

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. 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. Including certain supplements in your daily diet can help maintain kidney health and slow the progression of complications of chronic kidney disease. 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 these components may reduce liver and kidney toxicity due to alcohol.

Moringa may prevent kidney problems, as diets supplemented with moringa have been found to lower blood levels of urea and creatinine (waste products). N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amino acid and a precursor to glutathione, an important antioxidant in the body that attacks oxygen radicals. A meta-analysis evaluated the effects of probiotic supplementation for at least four weeks in people with chronic kidney disease. Resveratrol has been shown to protect against several kidney problems, including drug-induced lesions, diabetic neuropathy, and hyperuricemic injury (due to high levels of uric acid).

Kidney health supplements are made with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and natural herbs that improve kidney and kidney health. Vitamins, such as vitamin A, fight infections, while herbs such as andrographs protect the kidneys from toxins. Other common ingredients in kidney health supplements include dandelion root, nettles and ginger. You can also find ingredients such as probiotics and antioxidants.

Some examples of antioxidants that promote kidney health are alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Gelatin is often found in capsules used to make supplemental pills for kidney health. Specific foods that are known to benefit the kidneys are cauliflower, blueberries, red beans, olive oil, cabbage, pineapple, ginseng and ginger. Of course, so do all other substances that are healthy for the body; drink enough water, exercise (ti chi) and eat a healthy, kidney-friendly diet. Taking certain vitamins for kidney disease can help ensure that your body gets what it needs to help you feel better and thrive. You can support healthy kidney function and reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease by implementing the dietary and lifestyle changes described above.

Kidney supplements intended to treat kidney stones are usually different from supplements that promote kidney health in general. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are more likely to build up in the body, so they are avoided unless prescribed by your kidney doctor. Talk to your healthcare provider to understand the benefits and risks of any medication. It's important to note that the National Kidney Foundation has identified a list of dietary supplements that may be harmful to people with chronic kidney disease.

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