March is known to be National Nutrition Month, that’s why it is important to understand the importance of healthy eating, normal weight and everything connected to it. As one of the parts of the body that need more attention is kidneys. There are different approaches how to help them to stay healthy, but most likely an average person doesn’t know a link between alkaline foods and kidneys.

Kidney function

There is no denying that important as they “filter out and prevent a buildup of fluid and waste.”[1] There are also other important tasks that they perform:

  • Participate in bone and heart health
  • help to balance acid and alkaline levels in the body

When kidneys are not healthy and cannot deal with these and other tasks, a person can feel that something is not right.

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Kidney malfunction symptoms and illnesses:

  • high blood pressure,
  • weakened bones
  • declined nutrition (that can lead to problems with bones)
  • anemia
  • nerve damage
  • chronic kidney disease

Alkaline connection to kidney problems

Although alkaline is necessary for body functions that you can learn more about here, it also carries a risk if these alkaline acid levels go out of the control. There are numerous studies carried out that show the link between the high level of, for example, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and vascular calcification, increased risk of death and other problems. ALP itself is “an enzyme that removes phosphate from proteins and nucleotides and can be detected in a variety of tissues throughout the body.”[2] One of the research done at the Cleveland Clinic measured patients with chronic kidney disease, and their “ALP values were classified into quartiles: < 66 units/liter (U/L); 66 to 81 U/L; 82 to 101 U/L and ≥ 102 U/L.”[3] The results showed that people with higher ALP levels had increased level of mortality.

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Alkaline diet and foods as such when used with monitoring and specialist supervision can be beneficial to the kidney health. Kidneys need to extract high acid load through the modern diet and lifestyle. Balancing the acid-base load can have improvement in the kidney function. The diet can include foods like alkaline-rich vegetables, alkaline fruits, acid-forming foods and also additional supplementation with alkaline minerals like sodium bicarbonate. Alkaline minerals are also made to balance the pH levels (normally it should be about 7.365[4]) At the same time, there is big stress to excrete excess acids. Alkalinity in the diet helps to reduce this stress on kidneys and thus also to help to avoid chronic kidney or help to manage it. Board Certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher suggests consulting about the right diet approach to help kidneys and overall health.

 

Reference:

[1] Keeping Kidneys Healthy. Accessed from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/diseases-and-conditions/kidney-disease/keeping-kidneys-healthyrel=”nofollow”

[2] Schoppet M, Shanahan CM. Role for alkaline phosphatase as an inducer of vascular calcification in renal failure? Kidney Int. 2008;73:989-991.

[3] Serum Alkaline Phosphatase Has Prognostic Importance in Chronic Kidney Disease. Accessed from: https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/2014/12/serum-alkaline-phosphatase-has-prognostic-importance-in-chronic-kidney-disease/rel=”nofollow”

[4] Can an Alkaline Diet Prevent & Reverse Chronic Kidney Disease? Accessed from: https://liveenergized.com/alkaline-diet-resources/can-an-alkaline-diet-prevent-reverse-chronic-kidney-disease/rel=”nofollow”