Beyond Sodium, Phosphate and Potassium: Potential Dietary Interventions in Kidney Disease

Jaimon T. Kelly, Megan Rossi, David W. Johnson, Katrina L. Campbell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)


People with kidney disease are advised to restrict individual nutrients, such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate, in line with current best practice guidelines. However, there is limited evidence to support the efficacy of single nutrient strategies, and compliance remains a challenge for clinicians to overcome. Many factors contribute to poor compliance with dietary prescriptions, including conflicting priorities for single nutrient restriction, the arduous self-monitoring required, and the health-related knock-on effects resulting from targeting these nutrients in isolation. This paper reviews the evidence base for the overall pattern of eating as a potential tool to deliver a diet intervention in which all the nutrients and foods work cumulatively and synergistically to improve clinical outcomes. These interventions may assist in kidney disease management and overcome these innate challenges that single nutrient interventions possess. Healthy dietary patterns are typically plant-based and lower in sodium and animal proteins. These patterns may have numerous mechanistic benefits for cardiovascular health in kidney disease, most notably through the increase in fruit, vegetables, and plant-based protein, as well as improved gut health through the increase in dietary fiber. The evidence to date on optimal dietary patterns points toward use of a predominantly plant-based diet, and suggests its adoption may improve clinical outcomes in dialysis patients. However, clinical trials are needed to determine whether these diet interventions are feasible, safe, and effective in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Dialysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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