Best Vitamins For Kidney Health – And The Ones To Avoid

Because certain foods are restricted from your diet you might not be getting all the best vitamins and minerals for your kidney health you need every day. It is NOT recommended that you take an over the counter multi-vitamin as they usually contain large amounts of vitamin A that your damaged kidneys may have trouble getting rid of. When vitamin A build up is too much in your body it can be toxic.

Another reason your body will be short of vitamins is that because your kidneys are struggling to filter your blood, the toxins will interfere with your bodies ability to absorb some vitamins.

Vitamins are very important to keep your body functioning properly Vitamins play a part in controlling the body’s ability to burn fat and sugar for energy and build proteins for growth. When vitamins are missing, these reactions are not properly coordinated and may cause skin lesions, muscle weakness, fatigue, and nerve pain. Which, are all signs that vitamin supplements may be needed.

We do not produce vitamins naturally within our body, they must be taken in as food, or as vitamin supplements (except vitamin D which we do make but need help from the sun first). Healthy individuals who eat a well-balanced diet including grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat poultry and dairy products probably do not need vitamin supplementation.

Kidney patients need supplementation of some vitamins, but not others. In fact, supplementation with some vitamins may be harmful.

Best Vitamins For Kidney Health

When taking any vitamins it is best to stick to the recommended daily allowance. You can find a list of the RDA allowances by clicking here

Vitamin D > Important for bone growth and maintenance, it also helps the body absorb calcium. Kidney patients have low amounts of activated vitamin D and need to be supplemented.

Calcium > Must be given along with vitamin D or the vitamin cannot do its job. Calcium carbonate is a good supplement for calcium and phosphorus control. Calcium is important for bone and teeth health

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) > Breaks down and releases energy from food, and helps to keep the nervous system healthy, Thiamine can’t be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) > Vitamin B2 is required for steroid hormone synthesis and red blood cell production. It also helps the transportation of oxygen to the cells and helps to mobilize iron. 1.8 mg/day supplement for CKD on a low-protein diet. 1.1-1.3 mg/day supplement for those on dialysis, especially with poor appetite.

Niacin> Also called vitamin B3. Helps the body use sugars and fatty acids, helps cells produce energy; helps enzymes function in the body

Vitamin B6 > Helps the body make protein, which is then used to make cells, also helps make red blood cells. A kidney disease patient should take 5mg per day but a patient on dialysis requires 10mg daily. 50 mg/day when taken with folic acid and vitamin B12 to reduce homocysteine levels

Folate > Your body needs folate to make DNA and other genetic material. Your body also needs folate for your cells to divide. Folate is often taken together with vitamin B12 to help produce new cells

Vitamin C > Helps to maintain a healthy immune system, helps to heal cuts and fight infection. Most preparations contain at least 250 mg, and some contain up to 500 mg of vitamin C. This is an excessive amount for the kidney patient. 60-100 mg/day supplement recommended for CKD patients (dialysis and non-dialysis

Vitamins To Avoid With Kidney Disease

Vitamin A > Too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity. Kidney patients should not use supplements with vitamin A. Many multivitamins have excessively high amounts of vitamin A. If you are going to be using a multi-vitamin make sure you use one that is specifically formulated for kidney health like the ones found here.

Vitamin E > Some research shows that taking vitamin E improves the response to the drug erythropoietin, which affects red blood cell production, in adults and children on hemodialysis. Since vitamin E levels remain high in kidney patients, supplements are not necessary.

Vitamin K > Vitamin K is important in blood clotting, bone health, and healing. Studies have shown no evidence that kidney patients need vitamin K supplementation.

The above vitamins are Fat-soluble vitamins these are stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues when you consume more than you need. Because of this, you don’t need them every day, and, in some cases, weeks or even months can pass before stores need replacing.

Getting Vitamins Naturally

The best way to get vitamins that our bodies need to function properly is with the foods we eat. There is a large range of cookbooks available with great recipes, using foods full of the vitamins required for kidney health. Please check these out too.


4 thoughts on “Best Vitamins For Kidney Health – And The Ones To Avoid”

  1. Jon says:

    What a great breakdown. It had not occurred to me that the vitamin needs of diabetics would be different, but of course it makes perfect sense.

    One thing I’d add is that there are a couple of vitamins that microbes in our guts synthesize, B9 and K2. If you are eating a diet that includes a wide variety of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, chances are, you are getting enough of those two.

    Thanks for the rundown, this is information I can use with clients.

    1. Garry Brown says:

      Hi Jon

      Yes, please do share the information with your clients. The more people that know about diabetes and its complications the better-educated people will be about this disease.

      I didn’t know your gut microbes made vitamins, but i do now.

      Thanks, Garry

  2. Wow! I had no idea! I’m pre-diabetic and have only cut back on sugar. I don’t take supplements besides magnesium. This article was eye opening. I guess I didn’t know that Vitamin A was hard on the kidneys. I would love to see an article about diabetes and minerals. Thanks for this break down on each vitamin!

    1. Garry Brown says:

      Hi Tammy

      Thank you for your comment and I am glad you found it so useful.

      I will do a piece on diabetes and minerals (watch this space), did you read my post about Diabetes and Herbs? you can find it by clicking here

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