Dietary sodium in chronic kidney disease: a comprehensive approach

Semin Dial. Jul-Aug 2010;23(4):415-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2010.00752.x. Epub 2010 Jun 14.


Despite existing guidelines, dietary sodium intake among people worldwide often exceeds recommended limits. Research evidence is growing in both animal and human studies showing indirect and direct adverse consequences of high dietary sodium on the kidney. In patients with kidney disease, dietary sodium may have important effects on proteinuria, efficacy of antiproteinuric pharmacologic therapy, hypertension control, maintaining an optimal volume status, and immunosuppressant therapy. Dietary sodium intake is an important consideration in patients with all stages of chronic kidney disease, including those receiving dialysis therapy or those who have received a kidney transplant. We review in detail the dietary sodium recommendations suggested by various organizations for patients with kidney disease. Potential barriers to successfully translating current sodium intake guidelines into practice include poor knowledge about the sodium content of food among both patients and providers, complex labeling information, patient preferences related to taste, and limited support for modifications in public policy. Finally, we offer existing and potential solutions that may assist providers in educating and empowering patients to effectively manage their dietary sodium intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium