Our kidneys – we are born with two of them – play several key roles in helping us to maintain a healthy body. Not the least of these important functions is ridding our bodies of toxins and waste matter; they even play a role in regulating blood pressure. The kidneys are bean-shaped – you know, like the popular, backyard kidney-shaped swimming pools – and found near the posterior side of the abdomen. An injury, disease-induced damage, or ingested chemical pollutants affecting the kidneys can endanger their health, as well as renal function, per livestrong.com. That's why certain vitamins, supplements, and foods should be kept handy to maintain and, when necessary, restore kidney health – but all with a physician's guidance.
Kidneys Are MultifunctionalNot only do kidneys help remove waste and toxins from the body and contribute to healthy blood pressure, they perform several other functions. Per globalhealingcenter.com, these include ramping up the production of red blood cells and synthesizing vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, a key component in maintaining and restoring bone strength and integrity. It's no wonder that our kidneys need a lot of TLC in order to protect them and keep them healthy. It's not just about what we ingest in terms of healthy food, vitamins and supplements that target the welfare of the kidneys, it's also plenty of consistent exercise and staying hydrated – that is, drinking a lot of water daily. The needs for anyone with kidney disease are a bit more acute and the dietary options as limited. Someone with such a disease or even on dialysis, per kidney.org, is usually restricted from eating certain foods that contain key vitamins and minerals. In such cases, supplements and vitamins can be bought and ingested separately, filling in those nutritional gaps for those with diseases.
Vitamins and Supplements that Target Kidney HealthYou don't have to have a kidney disease or some other form of kidney damage to benefit from certain vitamins and supplements, such as those listed below. As with anything, however, be sure to consult with your physician before adding any of these to your dietary regimen:
- B complex vitamins: Particularly beneficial for anyone with kidney disease. These vitamins (B-12, B6 and folic acid) work in tandem with iron to help ward off anemia; if you have anemia, you have a deficiency of red blood cells, per kidney.org.
- Vitamin C: Helps protect various types of body tissues and might be able to prevent infections, which is meaningful for anyone with kidney disease.
- Celery root: Used for centuries as a natural diuretic that boosts the expulsion of toxins by enhancing the output of urine.
- Chanca Piedra: This herb comes from a plant popular in South American countries; known for its support of kidney health.
- Collinsonia root: Also goes by several other names, such as horseweed, ox-balm, and stone root. Has been used for treatment in many areas, to include kidney and urinary health.
- Vitamin D: Kidney disease can lead to a vitamin D deficiency, necessitating D supplementation.
- Dandelion root: Another herb that has been shown to have diuretic capabilities.
- Goldenrod: Per globalhealingcenter.com, has frequently been used by native Americans for urinary tract health and kidney detoxification.
- Gravel root: Its inclusion of euparin, a solvent, is believed to be proficient at preventing infections.
- Horsetail: An antioxidant herb can boost the output of urine and thus help flush the kidneys.
- Hydrangea root: Known as a solvent that can help reduce kidney stones or even prevent them from forming in the first place.
- L-carnitine: An amino acid that plays a role in converting fat in the kidneys to energy.
- Lemon juice: Contains a large amount of potassium, which can work to thwart the production of uric acid, which is a precursor to urate kidney stones, per Health911.com, as cited at livestrong.com.
- Parsley: Believed to be useful in lessening the buildup of toxins in the kidneys and urinary tract.