Dietary Considerations in Chronic Kidney Disease
A low-protein diet is beneficial with chronic kidney disease, but research suggests there are many reasons a vegan, high-soy diet may be problematic to renal patients.
A low-protein diet is beneficial with chronic kidney disease, but research suggests there are many reasons a vegan, high-soy diet may be problematic to renal patients. The possible effects include renal calcification, inhibited mineral absorption, and excessive levels of toxic minerals. Conversely, secondary nutrients such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and L-carnitine found in animal products may have beneficial properties for renal patients.
A low-protein diet can be beneficial to a patient with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but the source of that protein is important as well. Many clinicians assume that a vegan diet is superior for kidney patients, but this may not be the case. With a vegan diet, the patient may be missing some potentially beneficial secondary nutrients found primarily in animal sources. Vegetarian protein sources may also contain substances such as phytates and aluminum that could potentially harm kidney patients.
It is essential for patients with CKD to consume adequate protein to prevent the body from entering a catabolic state. However, too much protein will put stress on the kidneys. Since a patient may be fighting a chronic condition for many years in an attempt to avoid dialysis, a low-protein diet should include enough protein to prevent cachexia, but at the same time protect the kidneys. For long-term use, a low-protein diet must not lead to a negative nitrogen balance, as muscle wasting increases the morbidity and mortality of CKD.
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