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The Best Kidney Health Supplement

Updated: Apr 23


I know that you want to take care of your kidneys the best that you can. And fortunately that can mean adding things into your diet instead of taking them away. So, let's talk about my favorite kidney health supplement.


Microorganisms are everywhere. Every square inch of skin, mucous membrane, and intestine is covered in a mix of yeasts, bacteria, and other organisms that make up your microbiota. And everyone’s microbiota is a little bit different. We know that the microbiota of people with kidney disease - even early CKD - is altered. We know that the microbiota in the gut has a direct effect on kidney health.


Probiotics for Kidney Health

We have also known for some time that probiotics - good bacteria - can help to improve, and in some cases resolve, digestive issues. I’m sure that you’ve seen the commercials for probiotic-rich yogurt that keeps your bowels regular? We’re learning that probiotics can help with a plethora of other health ailments as well!


Some probiotics have been shown to: 


  • Decrease inflammation

  • Decrease blood sugar and HgA1C

  • Increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol

  • Decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol

  • Increase eGFR

  • Decrease BUN and urea

  • Decrease uric acid


All of these are absolutely amazing for kidney health! And there’s ongoing research on the use of probiotics in the prevention of memory loss, skin diseases, and so many other diseases.


Essentially probiotics are awesome and even though it feels weird to think about eating bacteria…you should definitely be looking into this!


Different strains of bacteria serve different purposes and it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a wide variety of strains. From urinary tract infections to IBS to memory health, there’s a probiotic for everything. 


Probiotic Foods for CKD

I always recommend probiotic foods first because they tend to have a wider variety of bacterial strains than a supplement. Some can be effective at just 2 oz daily! So, you don’t have to eat a whole bowl of kimchi to get a healthy dose of probiotics.


Good sources of kidney-friendly probiotics include:

  • Kimchi - This spicy fermented cabbage is a traditional food in Korean cuisine and is one of my favorite! It's a bit high in sodium, but if you stick to just 2 oz or a ¼ cup daily, you can stay under 200 mg of sodium!

Bowl of SCOBY and spoon of tea leaves for making kombucha.
Kombucha has gotten popular over the last few years, so you can find it at most grocery stores!

  • Kombucha - This fermented tea usually has just a touch of fruit juice added, so you can find it in lots of different flavors. But, it's still low in calories, sugar and sodium. You've probably seen it at the store as it's popularity has risen. I've even found it at gas stations!


  • Apple Cider Vinegar - Raw, organic apple cider vinegar - it should look hazy in the bottle - has been linked to lower HgA1C and blood glucose and improved lipids when taken daily for at least 8 weeks. Just make sure to dilute it with water or drink water immediately after as the acid in it can cause damage to the enamel of teeth!


  • Cottage Cheese - You want to find one with live cultures and preferably one that’s low in sodium. Cottage cheese is a bit higher in sodium than some others on this list at 300 - 450 mg per serving. I’ve included it with a few caveats. If you can limit yourself to ½ cup, pair it with something that’s very low in sodium, and make it the bulk of your meal, it’s probably an alright choice. For example, some people eat their cottage cheese with pineapple on top or only black pepper. But, you should definitely clear it with your dietitian first and you should avoid it if you’re very sensitive to sodium.

Best Probiotics for Kidney Health

If you’re not interested in probiotic food and you’d rather try a capsule supplement — kombucha isn’t for everyone — that’s totally ok! I don’t have a specific brand to recommend to you, but I can tell you what to look for.


A bowl of white pills sits on a counter.
Supplements can be an easy way to get your probiotics in!

I prefer probiotics that are 3rd party tested because that means that the maker of the probiotic has sent it off to be tested by a different company to ensure that the product is what they claim it to be.


Best Probiotics for Kidneys:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilis(1)

  • Lactobacillus Casai(2)

  • Bifidobacterium spp(3); and

  • Streptococcus thermophilus(4)


These bacterial strains have been clinically proven to improve kidney health and increase kidney function. So, a supplement with a combination of these strains is going to be the best for kidney health. But, as always, ask your doctor or dietitian if you have questions!

Comentários


Brandy Winfree, RDN smiling at the camera.

I'm Brandy Winfree, RDN.

When I was working in dialysis, I saw so many patients who had no idea that diet plays a HUGE role in kidney health.

I decided then that I needed to pass my knowledge onto people with kidney disease BEFORE they went into kidney failure. Not after.

That's why I became a board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition and why I started this blog. 

You deserve to take care of the kidneys that you have now and I want to share my knowledge with you to make that happen.

Are they any topics that you'd like to hear my thoughts on?

Shoot me a message here.

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