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Reduce Acid-Forming Proteins to Protect Kidney Function

Chronic kidney disease is a major public health problem affecting about one in eight Americans, increasing the risks of disease and death even among those with only mild decreases in kidney function. Low-cost, low-risk preventive strategies that anyone can do are needed to address the epidemic of kidney disease. I discuss some of these in my video Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function.

Diet plays a role in kidney function decline. “Specifically, diets higher in animal protein, animal fat, and cholesterol” may be associated with protein leakage into the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage, and, generally, “diets higher in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but lower in meat and sweets, may be protective” against kidney function decline.

In comparison to the diet eaten by our ancient ancestors, not only are we eating more saturated fat, sugar, and salt, we now also eat an acid-producing diet, as opposed to a base-producing, or alkaline, diet. Ancestral human diets were largely plant based and, as such, produced more base than acid.

“Dietary acid load (DAL) is determined by the balance of acid-inducing foods which is rich in animal proteins (such as meats, eggs, and cheese)” and offset by base-inducing foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In a national survey of 12,000 American adults, DAL was associated with kidney damage among U.S. adults.

Acid-inducing diets are believed to affect the kidney through tubular toxicity, damage to the tiny, delicate, urine-making tubes in the kidney via increased ammonia production. Ammonia is a base, so the kidney creates it to buffer the acid from the food we eat. This is beneficial in the short term to get rid of the acid; however, in the long term, all that extra ammonia in our kidneys day in and day out seems to exert toxic effects.

Our kidney function tends to decline progressively after our 30s, and, by our 80s, our kidney capacity may be down to half. “Perhaps, the so-called age-related decline in renal function is a result of damage induced by ammonia overproduction.” That’s just one theory, though. The acidic pH may increase the production of free radicals and damage the kidney that way, or add to scarring.

Not only is protein derived from plant foods accompanied by antioxidants that can fight the free radicals, but plant protein is also less acid-forming in the first place because it tends to have fewer sulfur-containing amino acids. One of the reasons plant foods tend to be less acid-forming than animal foods is because acid is produced by the sulfur in the protein, and there’s less in plant proteins.

“[T]he more important determinant of the effect of dietary protein on nephropathy [kidney disease] progression is the quality of the ingested protein (i.e., whether it induces acid-production like most animal protein or base production like most fruit and vegetable protein) when ingested rather than the quantity of protein ingested.”

American diets “are largely acid-producing because they are deficient in fruits and vegetables and contain large amounts of animal products,” so changing from a standard American diet to a vegan diet may improve acidosis in patients with chronic kidney disease. Under normal circumstances, a vegetarian diet is alkalinizing, whereas a nonvegetarian diet leads to an acid load. This was true even of vegetarians who consumed processed meat replacements such as veggie burgers.

Plant-based diets have been prescribed for decades for those with chronic kidney failure. They contain no animal fat, no cholesterol, and less acid formation, and help to lower blood pressure. Indeed, if you compare the kidney function of vegans with vegetarians and omnivores, the most plant-based diet was most associated with improved parameters for the prevention of degenerative kidney decline.


I was surprised to learn how powerfully diet can affect kidney function and structure. My kidney videos include:

And be sure to check out my overview video, How Not to Die from Kidney Disease.

Aren’t some plant foods acidic, though? Check out the chart in my video, How to Treat Kidney Stones With Diet.

Is there any way to test to see how acid-forming your diet is? Yes—and it’s fun! See Testing Your Diet With Pee and Purple Cabbage.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


51 responses to “Reduce Acid-Forming Proteins to Protect Kidney Function

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  1. Dr Walter Kempner researching kidney function found rice and fruit improved kidney function AND other problems thought incurable at the time (’30’s and ’40’s)

    “treating malignant hypertension patients with a radical diet consisting of only white rice and fruit, with strikingly favorable results: a rapid reduction in blood pressure, rapid improvement in kidney failure, eye pressure, heart failure and other manifestations of this previously fatal illness.”

    https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/08/16/introducing-the-kempner-rice-diet/
    https://idmprogram.com/thoughts-on-the-kempner-rice-diet/

    It’s all about the science…..

    mitch

    1. Hi Steve. Many thanks for your comments.

      Actually, there’re many studies published about vegan/vegetarian diets and kidney function, and others that evaluated outcomes in other health areas. These are some interesting researches that I found on PubMed:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17365939

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20941898

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28394274

      Here are other studies that focus on the effect of vegan/vegetarian nutrition:

      Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1607S.long/

      The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245565/ PIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non meat-eaters in the UK. This was a large study and there was a limited 12-year follow up.

      Finally, Adventist studies also provide good justification for a WFPB diet-They were definitely large studies, and some appeared to be long term with comprehensive results including both mortality and specific disease outcomes. This was a good review: Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/

      Hope it helps!

  2. I have a question about the apparent deleterious impact of higher sulfur levels in animal proteins vs plant proteins. You wrote:

    ‘Not only is protein derived from plant foods accompanied by antioxidants that can fight the free radicals, but plant protein is also less acid-forming in the first place because it tends to have fewer sulfur-containing amino acids. One of the reasons plant foods tend to be less acid-forming than animal foods is because acid is produced by the sulfur in the protein, and there’s less in plant proteins.’

    Yet, as I understand it, cruciferous vegetables — broccoli and cauliflower in particular — act as potent antioxidants precisely because of their high sulfur content.

    ‘ . . . . In particular, the sulfur-containing part of plant cells in broccoli has been demonstrated to be an indirect antioxidant. According to a 2012 study published in Frontiers in Genetics, sulforaphane, as the compound is called, has an incredible ability to get certain enzymes to express. This is done by signaling genes in the cell nucleus. These particular enzymes activate the detoxification and antioxidant process. Over the past ten years, scientists have watched sulforaphane do this in vivo, meaning live, in humans. Sulfur heals. . . .’ {https://www.naturalnews.com/034984_broccoli_sulfur_disease_prevention.html}

    Your thoughts on this will be most appreciated!

    1. Joanna, Good question. I was wondering the same thing. I imagine different compounds of sulfur react differently in various cells of the body. But I would like to see an answer from a more knowledgeable nutritionist. I’m beginning to think the human body is one of the most complex entities in the universe!

    2. I think he answered it by the end of the sentence:

      One of the reasons plant foods tend to be less acid-forming than animal foods is because acid is produced by the sulfur in the protein, and there’s less in plant proteins.

  3. Kidney problems run in my family, and my brother suffered total kidney failure at age 30. When I was tested as a suitable candidate for donation, it was discovered that I had one normal, if oversized, kidney and one shriveled one about 1\3 the size of a normal one. By the time I was in my 50s, my kidney function was impaired, despite being vegetarian and vegan for over 10 years. Add a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and a prescription for metformin, and my kidney function plummeted to 17, and very close to transplant myself. With metformin gone and a WFPB diet, my function has stabilized at 43, my diabetes is nearly gone, and my renal expert and my endocrinologist have both went me back to my PCP for ordinary care.

    1. Happy to hear of your results but confused about what changed to bring them about. You were having issues despite being vegetarian so what caused your condition to finally stabilize?

      1. There is a big difference between what are commonly called vegetarian diets and whole food plant based (WFPB) diets.

        These vegetarian diets can be anything from a beer and chips diet to a diet comprised of white bread, jam, processed mock meats, pastries and other highly procssed foods. Also, most people seem to think that any diet that excludes meat is a vegetarian diet so they often include dairy, fish and eggs – all high in animal protein.

        WFPB diets consist of whole foods (ie no processed foods or minimally processed foods) which are wholly or almost wholly plants ie vegetables (a vegetable technically being any edible plant or plant part). These days though when people say vegetables they mainly mean green leafy vegetables and root vegetables so it’s clearer to say a diet based on unprocessed or minimlly processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds (and edible mushrooms).

        Note that a WFPB diet is not necessarily a strictly vegetarian (often called ‘vegan’) diet since it can contain a small amount of animal foods. That is, it is a plant BASED diet not necessarily a diet exclusively of plants. Many people who eat WFPB diets, however, do eat an exclusively plant diet.

        https://www.forksoverknives.com/whole-food-plant-based-diet/

      1. WFPB stands for “whole food plant based.” It’s a vegan diet by definition, but not all vegan diets are whole food diets. The key to good health as revealed by the science shown at NutritionFacts is eating a variety of whole and relatively unprocessed plants—whole grains rather than polished starches, whole fruit rather than juices, and so on. The real deal leaves out oils and sugar, both components of whole plants but not whole plants themselves. It is entirely possible to eat an unhealthy, junky plant-based diet (white flour, soy ice cream, sugar candies, lots to choose from!). Whole plants are best, as Dr. Greger has shown repeatedly through his research: whole veggies, whole fruit, whole legumes, whole grains, whole nuts and seeds and spices. A whole lot yummier, too, in my opinion.

        1. Yes, Maureen, veganism is geared more towards following a way of life that excludes exploitation and cruelty to animals and, along with diet, it encompasses accessories, clothing, make-up, pharmaceuticals, hair & skin care products, entertainment, etc.

          WFPB, on the other hand, is focused solely on food & eating the healthiest food available to us. Science has shown over & over that whole food plants are the healthiest!

    2. Congratulations Barbie!

      That is a good testimonial for WFPB!

      Are you no oil?

      Asking, because you are still having some Diabetes.

      Wondering if you have some hidden saturated fats in your diet.

    1. Hello James,
      I am a family doctor with a private practice in lifestyle medicine and also a volunteer for this website. It turns out that only animal protein is harmful to the kidneys. Here is one of Dr. Greger’s videos which addresses effects on kidney function of animal vs. plant protein: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-type-of-protein-is-better-for-our-kidneys/

      In terms of your specific question about nuts, specifically walnuts and almonds, I looked in PubMed — a free database of medical articles, for “walnuts, kidney function”, and found no articles that mentioned any detrimental effect of walnuts. In fact, there were several which looked at the effects of “Juglans regla” (walnuts) in PREVENTING nephrotoxicity as well as diabetes and cancer. Here is one about walnut oil protecting against lead-induced kidney damage in rats: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30034312

      I hope this helps.
      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org

  4. My cousin is on Dialysis now and he said that, when he turned Diabetic 25 years ago, there were cooking lessons and recipes and nutritional information and all kinds of support, but 25 years later, when he moved in category to Diabetic, plus Kidney Failure and eventually Diabetic, Kidney Failure, on Dialysis, there was suddenly nothing at all.

    He told the doctors that. He told them, you don’t do any education at all for Kidney Failure or Dialysis. Why don’t you have the same type of educational program? (I suspect $$$$ and lack of agreement what to do is the problem.)

    They did tell him to start eating 5 egg omelets, but forgot to tell him that Dialysis would affect his protein levels and didn’t give any strategies, except eat a lot of eggs.

  5. It is frustrating to me, because the year before he ended up on Dialysis, I wanted him to try WFPB, but the doctors get into this authoritative expert telling him to eat more meat mode. Whatever you do, eat the canned fruit, nothing fresh. Then, they cross half the vegetables off and he ended up eating a diet so meat oriented and acid that he didn’t stand a chance.

    They pretty much did the opposite process for Diabetes, too, so I guess them teaching anything would have ended up the same way.

    1. Most Doctors are such nutritional ignoramuses that it is a real shame and so detrimental to those who desperately need sound nutritional advice. Not surprising given the 0-15 hours of ‘nutrition’ education given by most medical schools. Thank God for MDs who do real research and share such as Dr. Greger and others!

  6. I am a prolific former of oxalic acid kidney stones and other than avoiding high oxalic acid foods (a dubious strategy I am reading) I was told by my urologist to reduce my consumption of animal protein, which has a strong link to these type of stones. I was wondering if this has been explored by Dr Gregor?

    1. Hello June,
      I am a family doctor (private practice in lifestyle medicine) and also a volunteer for this website. Susan’s nice response, below, may have already given you what you need. But here is one video you should definitely watch by Dr. G., which shows that “Decreasing animal protein and sodium intake appears more effective in treating calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) than restricting calcium or oxalates.”:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-treat-kidney-stones-with-diet/
      — look at the 3rd reference cited by Dr. G from by MD Sorensen et al. from the J. of Urology 2014, which shows that eating high-oxalate plant foods doesn’t cause any increased risk of stone formation.

      I hope this helps.
      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org.

  7. Just my opinion – It seems that this site is emphasizing the avoidance of eating any animal meat to save animals more than any other reason. I tried the WFPB diet and bought Dr. Greger’s book. I felt awful. I also read “Grain Brain” that stated to avoid any and all wheat products. My acupuncturist and nutritionist tells me to eat red meat as close to raw as possible and eat plenty of the oils. He says Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease are due to too low a level of cholesterol which the brain needs to ward off these problems.

    When someone here mentions pesticides, acid rain, and all the other chemicals that seep into the soil and get absorbed by plants, someone else will address the issue but it doesn’t get the same level of attention that the animal lovers give to the meat eaters. I really don’t know who to believe any more.

    All these so called experts who are also doctors each who writes a book and contradict each other. What about the Paleo diet? Then you throw in the lobbyists who hide behind bogus scientific studies all trying to steer us away from that group and toward their group for the sake of money.

    My diet is all about avoiding sugar, soda, junk food, alcohol, all drugs, eating all meats without the processed gravies and dressings. I drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. For me, meats are ok in moderation. I get suspicious when people jump on healthy people that eat moderate amounts of meat and when you bring up the pesticide issue with plants, they simply give you the address to a website that mentions pesticides and say nothing else. I keep thinking there is another motive to keep us from eating meat. How many vegans walk at least an hour a day with their iPhone earbuds in roasting their brain with radiation everyday? You talk about cooking meat…

    1. Jack,
      When you “felt awful’ after trying a WFPB diet, you were probably experiencing ‘withdrawal’ symptoms similar to what drug addicts experience weaning themselves off of their addictions. Food can create addictions as well. Very strong addictions.

      If you really want to learn about Alzheimer’s, read ‘The End of Alzheimer’s’ by Dale Bredesen, MD., available at your library.

    2. “Just my opinion – It seems that this site is emphasizing the avoidance of eating any animal meat to save animals more than any other reason.”

      Personally I don’t give a rat’s patoot saving animals. Plenty of other people in the world who will eat them for me… I just don’t want to be sick and die early. WFPB 4 me. YMMV…
      mitch

    3. Well, the World Health Organization concluded that processed meat is carcinogenic and red meat is ‘probably carcinogenic’ so it is not as if Dr Greger is out on a limb here.

      http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

      Also, the world’s leading expert on nutrition and health is Walter Willett of Harvard

      ‘Speaking at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference in Vatican City, Dr Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Medical School said: “We have just been doing some calculations looking at the question of how much could we reduce mortality shifting towards a healthy, more plant based diet, not necessarily totally vegan, and our estimates are about one third of deaths could be prevented.’
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/04/26/third-early-deaths-could-prevented-everyone-giving-meat-harvard/

      If you think it is all just about saving animals (nothing wrong with that incidentally), then I suspect that you haven’t done enough research.

      Sure you can find all sorts of sensational health books for sale and equally sensational YouTube videos. They are highly unreliable but they sell well and make lots of money for the authors and publishers They also garner lots of headlines. Sensational claims always do. However they are based on ignoring most of the evidence and misrepresenting the other evidence.

      The fact is that the best science and evidence on nutrition and health is freely available. Unfortunately, it is not sensational and the advice it offers is not something most people enjoy hearing. Telling people to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds isn’t welcome news for most. People want to be told by some ‘expert’ that it’s OK to eat meat or cheese or bacon or whatever and not eat boring old vegetables. There are plenty of ‘experts’ who are only too willing to oblige – especially if there’s a quid or two in it.

      Try reading those real reports on nutrition and health. I think you will find that they are far more consistent with what Dr Greger is saying here than any of those other people you mention. Really, taking nutritional advice from an acupuncturist makes no sense and anybody can call him or herself a nutritionist.

      http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/en/
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/pdfs/scientific-report-of-the-2015-dietary-guidelines-advisory-committee.pdf
      https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/summary-third-expert-report

  8. Jack, your opening statement:
    “It seems that this site is emphasizing the avoidance of eating any animal meat to save animals more than any other reason.”

    shows that you know nothing about this website. This website is about science, not animal welfare. It makes me seriously doubt your next two statements… and well, everything else you said after that.

    1. WFPB Nancy – You just proved my point. You respond arrogantly as if you are the world’s foremost expert on this subject. I read Dr. Greger’s book. I tried his diet. I still have questions about it. These are my opinions and experiences. I have been on this website for a few years and I have read the posts here. They do lean toward animal friendly positions with regard to avoiding eating meat. They also do not go into the arguments for all the pollution that we absorb into our bodies from eating vegetables and fruits. I think there are just as many valid arguments for limiting meat as there are for people who are vegan, winding up with ailments due to not getting enough meat protein.

      You sound like one of those far-left militant liberals who feel that only they are entitled to an opinion and every one they disagree with are wrong. The fact that you jumped on me about my comments about animal bias on this site proves that it is true. I made many other points that you just blanketed with “It makes me seriously doubt your next two statements…and well everything else you said.” Really? You didn’t want to touch the arguments about what is in the soil and being absorbed into the plants that we are eating. It is quite common for bacteria and viruses to wind up in something like lettuce, that will actually send large numbers of people to the emergency room within a few hours. Some of these people actually die within the same day as consuming the greens. So going green does have issues of its own. It just doesn’t get the same amount of attention as animal meats do. That was the point you (dis) missed.

      1. Jack – I appreciate your comment that you still have questions about the optimal diet. I think we all do, as we go through the journey and sort through all the information and misinformation out there.

        Does this site have a “vegan bias”? I personally don’t think dr. Greger does, but certainly some of us “commenters” have strong beliefs on animal rights and the environment. However, we don’t come here to discuss veganism (plenty of other sites for that), we come here for health and nutrition. And I would challenge you to find a more objective, scientific, and comprehensive source of nutritional information. It is simply unparalleled.

        You made a couple of points that I would like to address:

        1) Vegans get sick because they don’t eat animal protein.
        Jack, the science is actually clear on this point: varied plant based diets which meet caloric needs supply more than sufficient levels of protein (total protein and each essential amino acid). All health authorities agree on this. In fact, it is almost impossible to imagine a plant based diet that results in kwashiorkor (again, assuming caloric needs are met). Despite the scientific consensus, there is still a lot of confusion out there… when in fact excess protein consumption is the real issue in the western world.

        2) We are not talking about adverse effect of pollution on plant foods.
        Dr. Greger has in fact covered this issue extensively, on a general level (e.g. organic vs. conventional) and for specific plants (e.g. arsenic in rice). Use the search function and you will find a bounty of information. BTW if you are worried about pollution of plant foods you should be doubly worried about pollution of animal foods, since animals eat plants and often accumulate pollutants to much higher concentrations. Eat lower on the food chain!

        Let’s keep a science based discussion going… what other questions do you have?

  9. I happened upon a laughable video by somebody calling herself Daphne or something. “Vegan is a scam.” Claims she no longer eats fruits, veggies, nuts or seeds. Says she got kidney stones, along with a dozen other ailments, from having avoided meats. She and her fellow groupies really badmouth the healthy foods.

    I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Is the broad for real?

    (I agree with Nancy that the pic of the now-deceased formerly happy little chicken — that might have gotten itself bashed against a wall or its neck wrung….looks pretty slimy/ yucky. And we can’t help but look at it each time we visit this thread.)

  10. I believe that it’s never just about 1 single thing that is causative of a particular disease, rather it is multi dimensional because we live in modern times where toxins are lurking everywhere – think air, water, soil, all of which contribute to food production. Don’t forget that even if you’re eating organic you can’t stop the chemtrail fallout that settles into the 3 things that I’ve mentioned (air, water, soil). You also can’t stop the flow of neurotoxic fluoride(waste product from the smokestacks of fertilizer plants) into the water supply of your home if you are living in most US cities. Thanks to living in modern times all the life sustaining elements of life have been poisoned to some degree, no matter carnivore, omnivore or herbivore diet. Parasites are also another huge part of the puzzle that contribute. Most of us are walking around with them and have no idea that we are harboring them. The other thing that nobody’s mentioned here is the toxicity of health, beauty and home items such as Teflon frying pans, plastic drinking bottles/storage containers, aluminum foil, deodorant and baking powder that contain aluminum, oral care products laden with fluoride, not to mention that refreshing summer swim you take in the pool, in all likelihood, that’s been treated with chlorine. You then combine the (demonic in my mind) toxins of greed that thrive on the almighty $ – think v@ccines, ph@rm@ceuticals and GM0’s and there you have it – the perfect storm, aka disease! All of these things work in concert to make and keep us sick (right back to the almighty $). Do you now understand the big picture? Disease usually results as a culmination of cumulative toxic exposures sometimes combined with upregulated genetic markers as a result of poor food choices (processed). In other words, the food you eat turns the genetic switch on to get the disease. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve researched Alzheimer’s for years because I made a promise to my mother that I would never give up trying to find some way to help her. In my quest to help her I’ve stumbled onto the research (real science) and wisdom (because I’m a spiritual person) that has enabled me to transform my asthmatic daughter back into a kid who recently proclaimed “I never knew that’s what it felt like to truly be able to breathe”. I’ve listened to Bredesen, Perlemutter (Grain Brain) and many more. I’ve signed off on western medicine (unless it’s for an accident) in lieu of a wonderful tribe of people, namely a chiropractor, a naturopath and God. The body is a self healing mechanism given the right raw materials (the things God put on the face of this Earth). I went the path of holistic medicine initially, but it’s not the same as naturopathic medicine. Remember, God made each 1 of us uniquely, therefore the remedy to heal will also be unique for every 1 of us. Also remember, you didn’t get sick overnight and you’re not likely to get better that quick either. It’s a process – stay the course and have faith. I’d like to say that a huge part in the process of healing involves letting go of everything you ever thought you knew about getting and staying healthy. It’s a scary thing, but dig deep and let go of your preconceived ideas that you’ve been force fed all these years. The answers you are seeking won’t be found there. When you free your mind you lose the chains that have held your health prisoner all these years. These days my family follows the Weston A. Price diet (unprocessed/raw dairy/omnivore). We drink filtered and re-mineralized water and eat as many organic and non-GM0 (particularly the dirty dozen) fruits and vegetables as possible.

      1. I found that I did just ok eating eating all the fruits,vegies etc, but didn’t do great until I gave up the dairy. Whole new ball game, and in short order. Took less than 30 days for allergies, IBS, aches, pains, acid reflux, migraine, to be gone! Turns out I didnt need patience, I just needed to let go of the animal products in my diet. No-brainer

    1. Most of us here prefer to follow what the science shows, but each to their own.

      The Weston Price Foundation are widely regarded as crackpots. Quite correctly in my opinion. However, a number of people do seem to like their kind of woo. From your remarks, I gather you think faith is more important than science and evidence, which would presumably explain at least part of why you follow the WPF.

  11. I eliminated all animals and animal products from my diet to protect myself from dementia that has been slowly attacking my 98 year old mother I care for. I felt so much better in every way that I decided I could no longer feed these harmful things to her either. After just 3 weeks on this program, they performed her routine blood tests and her kidneys, that I was told had stage III kidney disease, were performing normally again eating plant rather than animal protein!

  12. Diagnosed with Stage 3 kidney disease 13 years ago. Went to nephrologist 5 years ago and told to watch salt intake, keep cholesterol and B/P at optimum, did a renal panel. Offered no proactive advice. Just wanted to sit back and wait for dialysis?? I am very proactive, medically savvy, did my own research. Became plant-based, whole food advocate for the past 2 years. (No dairy, no eggs, little-no processed food) Here is the proof from my blood tests:

    12/16 5/17 9//17 1/18 6/18
    GFR 32 31 36 36 38
    CREATININE 1.60 1.67 1.47 1.45 1.38
    BUN 21 41 17 25 18
    B/P 153/81 103/62 113/62 116/72
    Stopped Lisinopril 5/25/17 B/P = 96/56
    CHOLESTEROL 197 167 143

    HOPING FOR EVEN BETTER RESULTS. Know there is no cure. Am a 66-year-old female.
    Wish I could be a statistic for a double-blind test.

  13. Bonnie,

    The word awesome comes to mind……very nice work on all fronts. From not being passive to documenting your changes.

    You might want to look at the work on cordyceps mushrooms and kidney function: https://www.cochrane.org/CD008353/RENAL_cordyceps-sinensis-a-chinese-medicinal-herb-for-treating-chronic-kidney-disease and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232436/

    Keep posting a letting others know of your success.

    Dr. Alan Kadish Health Support volunteer for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

  14. Realizing that major organs like kidneys are very similar structurally across related species, I am curious if anyone has examined if/how they differ in their ability to handle increased dietary acid load in obligate carnivores; for example, large cats such as lions, tigers, etc

  15. I have been diagnosed with Amyloidosis AL and undergoing chemotherapy to stop the progression. I have been on a plant based diet for the past three years. Any suggestions on what more I can do?

  16. Hello Elliot, many thanks for your comment!

    There’s no a special eating patter indicated to treat AL amyloidosis, the several sites I look info for, recommend to stick to a healthy and well-balanced diet, so, by following a plant-based diet you’re already doing a great thing.

    You also need to pay attention to the number of liquids you’re drinking and salt intake

    There’s no need to take vitamin supplements, however, if you take anyone which hasn’t been prescribed by your doctor, don’t forget to tell him.

    This brochure is quite informative and might be from help as well

    https://academy.myeloma.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/09/AL-amyloidosis-Diet-and-nutrition-Infosheet-Aug-2014.pdf

    just remember to change meat and other animal product for plant-based substitutes.

    Hope it helps

  17. Question regarding lab tests for vegans on a nutrient dense diet. Over the past 25 plus years I have tried my best to maintain my health through such a diet. But, when getting blood work, I obviously dont always fall within “normal” ranges. Recently, I fell just short of the iodine range and now the BUN/Creatinine ration is slightly low. OK. When would a vegan need to be concerned about falling into the “normal” range? I have seen “normal” for blood pressure change over the years. Mine used to be considered too low and now it is considered very healthy at the same reading. I know we vegans are not the average normals and I just am not sure if their is a place to go to say what we can expect as our “normal”. Is there a difference? My MD isn’t a vegan and although she does promote her version of health, she is reasonable enough that we can work together.

    1. Hi DaleP,
      I am a dietitian that volunteers for NutritionFacts.org. I suspect it is very good that your BUN/Creatinine ratio is slightly low if you are otherwise well nourished, but I’ll leave it for the doctors to address. The low iodine may be something you need to consider. If you do not regularly consume seaweed (and I assume you do not use iodized salt) then you may want to take 150 micrograms of iodine daily to ensure adequate intake. See the following video.https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-iodine-deficiency-2/

      1. Thank you KJGrier,
        I appreciate your kelp suggestion. Sometimes i munch on it. I will look into the iodine supplementation. I was avoiding it because i had been told that although it was good for low thyroid it was not good for my Hashimoto’s. This has been ongoing for nearly a year now so I may need to see someone who works with individuals on a whole food plant based sos-free diet.

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