Plant-Based versus Animal-Based Low Protein Diets in the Management of Chronic Kidney Disease

Nutrients. 2021 Oct 22;13(11):3721. doi: 10.3390/nu13113721.


Recent data reiterate low-protein diets (LPDs) as cornerstones in the conservative management of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The reduction in proteinuria, better blood pressure control and the reduction in the rate of decline in kidney function with LPDs were reported, both in non-diabetics and diabetics patients. Supplemented, vegetarian, very-low-protein diets (sVLPD, 0.3 g/kg-day) could postpone kidney replacement therapy (KRT) initiation, mainly through the better control of metabolic disorders of advanced CKD in non-diabetic patients. Plant-based diets could ameliorate gut microbiota and appear to be superior to mixed hypoproteic diets in treating advanced CKD: better control of nitrogen balance, acid-base metabolism and bone mineral disorders. Vegetarian diets generate fewer uremic toxins and reduce salt intake and acid overload. At the same time, they can improve lipid metabolism, providing a high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids, as well as insulin resistance.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease; dietary intervention in CKD; low-protein diets; management of CKD; plant-based diets; vegetarian diets.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diet therapy*
  • Survival Analysis