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Alkaline Diet – Can It Help Kidney Disease and Reduce Inflammation

Alkaline Diet - Can It Help Kidney Disease and Reduce Inflammation

Greetings friends. Today I am going to be talking about Alkaline Diets and their healing abilities in relation to kidney disease and general inflammation. When the kidneys are not functioning well or are under constant load, it allows acids to build up systemically and this contribute greatly to general inflammation throughout the body. Many fad diets exist that purport to treat diseases such as cancer by manipulating the pH of blood with different foods. While there is no good evidence currently available at present that acidic foods alter the body’s pH and promote disease, the hypothesis that “dietary acid load” relates to disease should not be completely dismissed. The kidneys control blood pH, but if kidney function declines or becomes impaired and other tissues catabolize (Break down) to maintain pH, then it is very plausible that manipulating the diet to reduce the acid load could spare tissues and improve outcomes in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and inflammation in general. After all, for example, the metabolism of amino acids (proteins) yields hydrogen ions, whereas fruits and vegetables contain organic salts that generally reduce acid load when metabolized. Recently, a growing number of human studies that manipulate diet acid load using fruits and vegetables and sodium bicarbonate support this hypothesis. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The first randomized controlled trial on bicarbonate supplementation and CKD progression was published in 2009 by de Brito-Ashurst and colleagues. Bicarbonate is produced by the kidneys and serves to neutralize acid. Supplementation of bicarbonate for 1 year in CKD patients slowed the progression of kidney disease as suggested by creatinine clearance and reduced the need for dialysis.

The next year, in 2010, a 5-year trial was published by Donald Wesson’s group that found a slowed kidney decline as measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) with bicarbonate supplementation. Several subsequent studies by his group have used bicarbonate or fruits and vegetables to achieve beneficial outcomes.

Goraya et al. gave oral bicarbonate or enough fruits and vegetables that were estimated to reduce dietary acid load by 50% to CKD patients for 30 days and also observed a slowed reduction in eGFR in patients at moderate, but not mild, stages of the disease. In patients with more advanced stages of CKD, one year of bicarbonate or fruits and vegetables did not slow the decrease in eGFR, though several urinary markers of kidney injury were reduced. Their most recent trial tested if kidney function might be preserved through a reduction in angiotensin II in moderate stage CKD patients. Three years of bicarbonate or increased fruits and vegetables lessened the decline in eGFR and resulted in a corresponding decrease in the marker angiotensin II. Other studies using bicarbonate from six months to two years have provided strong evidence that reducing acid load consistently slows the decline of eGFR, and improves markers of bone health and muscle function.
Each of the studies described provided fruits and vegetables to patients free of charge to increase adherence. It will be important to test if adherence can be maintained through education alone. Additionally, it may be that “prescribing” fruits and vegetables is effective at improving outcomes and reducing health care costs more so than bicarbonate since they also reduce blood pressure.

What Does This Mean For You?

What this means for the average person suffering from general inflammatory conditions is that you need to firstly pay attention to your diet. Clearly adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet is going to have a measurable effect on reducing your inflammation in a general sense as well as having an added bonus of reducing blood pressure and helping with healthy kidney function. As I have already discussed in previous articles on inflammation, [limk] GUT health is very important when it comes to preventing and reducing inflammation in the body, so by combining this GUT health approach with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, science in now catching up to validating the natural approach of using diet to improve inflammation and kidney health, something still overlooked by many battling these type of conditions.

How To Get More Vegetables and Fruit Into Your Daily Diet?

This isn’t really that hard although for some who have very busy schedules it can seem so. The simplest way I know of for most people is to start your day with a breakfast smoothie. There are a number of good nutrition extraction devices on the market these days that are affordable and worth the investment. These allow you to quickly and easily get the extra nutrition you need to benefit your body. I have listed below some links to some recipes on here that will get you started. I have also added a link to a downloadable alkaline food chart to help you as well.

Nutrition is your number one point to begin making changes for better health and science is catching up and validating this almost daily now. Whilst I do recommend always consulting with a nutritional or natural health professional as a preference before embarking on any diet or program, gaining an understanding of nutrition and health is everyone’s right as a human being. To this end I also recommend people learn a little bit about nutrition. I have provided a link below to a very affordable and simple online course to help you. I recommend this to my clients all the time to empower them to make better choices when it comes to nutrition.


Well that’s it from me today. I hope this has helped you to gain a better understanding.

Until next time, be well, naturally.

Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner



Alternative & Natural Health Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. The information provided on the various natural health subjects from this website of is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as any form of medical advice. The information in the article this disclaimer is linked from is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your health professional before taking any products or following any advice that you believe may conflict with other forms of health care. Always consult your health care professional before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared by your health professional before use.

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