Ameliorating Chronic Kidney Disease Using a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

Nutrients. 2020 Apr 6;12(4):1007. doi: 10.3390/nu12041007.


Novel approaches to ameliorating chronic kidney disease (CKD) are warranted as most patients are undiagnosed until they begin displaying symptoms of kidney failure. There is increasing evidence that a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet may offer benefits that slow the progression of CKD, decrease the incidence cardiovascular disease, decrease rates of diabetes and obesity, and reduce inflammation and cholesterol, which in turn can delay kidney failure and the initiation of dialysis. While animal-based protein ingestion promotes an acidic environment, inflammation and renal hyperfiltration, study authors report plant-based protein can be alkaline-producing and anti-inflammatory and can contain renoprotective properties. Although there may be benefits to adopting a WFPB diet, macronutrient and micronutrient content should be carefully considered and adjusted to avoid malnutrition in CKD patients. Further research needs to be done in order to establish the biological plausibility and feasibility of a WFPB in individuals with diagnosed CKD.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; potential renal acid load; whole food plant-based diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Humans
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary / therapeutic use*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diet therapy*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology


  • Plant Proteins, Dietary