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Is Ketosis Bad For Kidneys

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Ketosis and Kidneys: Setting the Record Straight

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Always Get An Experts Opinion First

Moreover, some experts believe that attempting to enter ketosis through a diet plan could be dangerous for anyone with poor kidneys. For example, in a scientific article for Harvard Health Publishing, Marcelo Campos, MD, explains that patients who currently have a kidney disease should be wary of the Keto diet altogether. His opinion is that the Keto diet, in general, could worsen these patients conditions over time.

With that in mind, before you make the decision to start thediet plan, its worth speaking to your doctor about it. Theyll be able to assessany medical problems you currently have and offer you advice on the best courseof action for you.

Discussing your overall health will mean that you can designa diet plan that suits your particular needs.

Saturated Fat Is Beneficial Not Harmful

For several years, the official dietary recommendations have blamed saturated fat for increased risk of heart disease and mortality.

Thats why many people think the heavy meat consumption on the ketogenic diet is bad for your heart and kidneys. We have been led to believe that red meat and other fatty meat products would damage our organs.

Research now proves this is false.

Studies have shown unprocessed meat doesnt significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease only processed meat is harmful.

Processed meats which we dont recommend on keto lead to a 70% increase in the risk of heart disease. So as long as you stick to grass fed meat, your heart will be healthy.

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The Real Culprits Behind Chronic Kidney Disease

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. As you just learned, a ketogenic diet can improve both of these risk factors.

Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronically high blood sugar levels

Weight control is also crucial for maintaining healthy kidney function. Obese people are more prone to chronic kidney disease, and obesity can be largely attributed to processed, high carb diets.

Following a ketogenic diet can significantly help with weight loss, blood sugar control and improve kidney function which can help prevent kidney damage.

Reason : Ketosis Affects Expression Of Genetics In Kidneys In A Good Way

Ketosis and Kidney Function: Heres What the Science Says ...

The mices gene expression had altered.

Researchers discovered that genes associated with nephropathy- podocin, ZO-1, plus nephrin- reversed. It aided the kidneys of the mice to go back to functioning in a healthy way.

As a result, we can conclude that following the keto diet wont harm your kidneys as much as you think. As a matter of fact, chronic kidney disease can also be improved by following a high-fat low-carb diet, especially for folks managing their diabetes.

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Keto Diet And Stage 3 Kidney Disease

For stage 3 kidney disease and earlier, the keto diet may show some promise.

One study had 92 patients with an average BMI of 33.8 follow a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet. The diet included 450-800 calories per day with a high protein intake of 1.0-1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. The diet protocol lasted for approximately 15 weeks.

Of the 92 participants in this study, 38 were classified as early CKD stage 2. The creatinine in this group was stable.

Some of the participants reported full recovery of kidney function. The authors, however, also acknowledged that several factors, including the weight loss itself, as a factor of the change in kidney function.

The study also emphasized the importance of the diet as a medically supervised diet. This is due to the intense level of progress monitoring to prevent deficiencies and potentially exacerbate any health issues.

May Damage Bone Health

The keto diet is also associated with impaired bone health.

Several studies in animals link the keto diet to decreased bone strength, likely due to losses in bone mineral density, which may occur as your body adapts to ketosis .

In fact, a 6-month study in 29 children with epilepsy on the keto diet discovered that 68% had a lower bone mineral density score after going on the diet .

Another study in 30 elite walkers determined that those who followed keto for 3.5 weeks had significantly higher levels of blood markers for bone breakdown, compared with those who ate a diet higher in carbs .

All the same, more extensive research is warranted.


The keto diet may reduce your bone mineral density and trigger bone breakdown over time, though further studies are needed.

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Myth : Ketosis = Ketoacidosis

Why Keto (The Ketogenic Diet) Is Considered Dangerous

Many people confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous physiological state and occurs when you have high levels of both ketones and blood sugar, which causes the blood to become too acidic. As a result, damage can be done to the kidneys.

Ketoacidosis usually only occurs in those with Type 1 diabetes. If you have any insulin in your body at all, you will not go into ketoacidosis.

On the other hand, ketosis is completely safe and natural physiological state. Ketosis will not acidify your blood or damage your kidneys.

In fact, most research shows a ketogenic diet may actually support healthy kidney function! So then what actually causes kidney disease?

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Misconception : Ketones Overwork Kidneys As A Result Of Greater Acid In Urine

It is a myth that the nutritional state of ketosis can alter the pH of a persons urine. The myth states that the urine will go from a neutral state to an acidic state and as a result overwork the kidneys.

But this only occurs in a state of ketoacidosis, not during ketosis.

What is ketoacidosis? It is an issue that comes about as a result of very high blood sugar and ketone levels and happens mostly in folks affected by type 1 and 2 diabetes. The blood becomes excessively acidic and has a negative effect on the kidneys and liver.

It is more likely to happen in people battling type 1 diabetes because they cannot produce insulin.

Nutritional ketosis is not the same, as your ketone levels are at a normal number. While in ketosis, we have greater ketones in our blood than normal, but not so many that ketoacidosis happens.

Its all about staying in ketosis on the keto diet, definitely not ketoacidosis!

What Everyone Should Do Before They Attempt The Keto Diet

The bottom line? If youre thinking about trying the ketogenic diet, run it by your doctor first regardless of any preexisting health conditions. And consult a registered dietitian nutritionist to find a nutrition professional who can work with you to create a meal plan you can stick to. People with kidney disease or a history of disordered eating should avoid the diet, and people with type 1 diabetes may want to avoid it, as well. If you have risk factors for heart disease, youll want to speak with your doctor before considering the diet.

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What Your Kidneys Do

Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped, fist-sized organs at the back of your abdomen. Each kidney produces urine that drains to the bladder 24 hours a day. Your kidneys filter large volumes of blood on a continuous basis in order to:

  • Remove excess fluid and acids from the body
  • Optimally balance fluids, minerals, and electrolytes
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Remove waste products, toxins, and drugs

The kidneys also make hormones that help keep your blood and bones healthy, including making calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D.

In short, your kidneys are like the waterworks department of a big city. We cannot survive without functioning kidneys, so we must support them by following a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Keto Diet And Kidney Health Myths

Is Ketosis Hard on the Kidneys?  Keto Health Care

You can find countless articles and videos warning you to avoid a ketogenic diet. As a result, people are often concerned about the health implications of a low-carb diet.

One of the primary concerns people have is whether or not a ketogenic diet is bad for the kidneys. Which is understandable, considering over 100,000 people experience kidney failure each year in the United States.

Due to the prevalence of kidney issues, many potential keto dieters are concerned about the following keto diet and kidney health myths.

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How Much Should I Exercise On A Keto Diet

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What You Need To Know About A Low

  • Summary
  • First, well look at what our kidneys do and how they can get damaged.

    Then, we will examine the research on low-carb diets for the average low-carb eater with healthy kidneys. We will evaluate the two biggest concerns most potential low-carbers have:

  • Will a high-protein, low-carb diet stress kidney function?
  • Do low-carb diets lead to kidney stones?
  • Our last section will evaluate the evidence about the safety of low-carb diets for those with a confirmed diagnosis of either mild or advanced kidney disease.

    Feel free to use the linked outline above to skip to the section most relevant to your health history.

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    Faulty Interpretation Of The Keto Diet

    There are doctors who have however said that keto diet is not exactly the root cause for an increased number of kidney stone patients. It is the faulty interpretation of the diet which can lead to kidney problems. Keto diet does not mean a gateway to consume tons and tons of meat without balancing it with the right amount of water. This is a habit which generally leads to kidney stones and other renal problems. Not all keto dieters develop kidney stones. Those who do develop kidney stones are some of the few extreme cases.

    The idea is to create a proper balance in the dietary intakes that you plan on a regular basis. The meat amount must be restricted and the fats that are included in the diet must be healthy ones. Instead of the processed butter and other forms of processed fats, you can side with healthier oils like nut oils, avocado and virgin olive oil. Instead of just eating tons and tons of meat you can consume fatty fishes like salmon. This provides the body with the valuable omega 3 fatty acids. You can cut down on some of the meat portions and add green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, and other fibrous vegetables. This helps in proper bowel movement and also helps to keep your body adequately hydrated.

    Vlckd Is Confirmed As A Safe And Effective Tool For Weight Loss And Metabolic Improvement In Subjects With Obesity

    Does Ketosis Damage Your Kidneys? â Dr.Berg

    Ninety-two patients with obesity were consecutively evaluated. The mean age was 51.3 ± 12.2 years the mean BMI was 33.8 ± 5.8 kg/m2. Baseline characteristics are summarized in . After the dietary intervention, body weight and BMI were significantly decreased, and BIA data showed this was predominantly caused by a significant reduction in fat mass, with a minor yet significant and expected loss in muscle mass. Of note, 1.1% of patients were deemed as non-responders, with < 5% weight loss achieved 11% reached a weight loss between 5% and 10% the majority of patients lost 10 to 20% initial weight , with 24.2% reaching a weight loss equal to or exceeding 20%. A reduction in Total, Intra and Extra cellular water was also observed, consistent with the known diuretic effect of ketogenic diets . Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure improved over time, and 33.3% of those on antihypertensive medication had it reduced or discontinued due to the blood pressure lowering. Glucose metabolism evaluation showed a frank improvement, with a significant decrease in both fasting glycaemia and HbA1c. Lipid metabolism assessment demonstrated a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and no significant modification in HDL and LDL levels. Uric acid and ferritin were also significantly decreased .

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    Keto Diet And Kidneys Relationship Is Complicated

    Whenever a non-traditional diet becomes mainstream, theres skepticism about its real impact on health and the ketogenic diet is no exception.

    People who follow any type of ketogenic diet started to ask themselves if the keto diet bad for kidneys. After all, it isnt every day that you hear about a diet that encourages you to eat tasty, fatty cuts of meat.

    Since dietary fats have been unfairly demonized for the past few decades, some people are worried that keto may affect your internal organs.

    This does not mean that the keto diet is for everyone. According to NCBI, there are kidney injury incidents associated with Ketamine abuse.

    Like almost every other diet in the world, overdoing the keto diet without consulting your physician may cause health issues in the short and long run.

    Specifically, theres controversy about the keto and kidney connection making its followers ask is keto diet bad for kidneys.

    If keto dieters arent careful, they can quickly become dehydrated, ramping up the amount of protein and uric acid in their bodies to dangerous levels.

    The diet itself has not been linked to an increase in kidney stone diagnosis rates, but some doctors say theyre already seeing a shift as more of their patients go keto.

    He said a combination of tons and tons of meat and not enough water could lead to kidney stones.

    Developing kidney problems is a common concern for people who are just starting a low carb diet, thanks to two common myths:

    Disadvantages Of The Keto Diet

    1. May impact on the liver and kidneys

    Some animal studies have found that the KD can contribute to triglyceride accumulation and markers of liver inflammation, possibly because of the higher protein and fat content of the diet compared to other commonly recommended diets .

    Researchers believe that genetics likely plays a role here, making some people more susceptible to liver problems when following low-carb, high-fat diets. Is the keto diet bad for your kidneys? According to an article released by Harvard Medical School, Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition.

    2. May not lead to improved insulin sensitivity long-term

    Is the keto diet safe for diabetics? Most research shows that yes, it is. However, even though the KD can help reduce insulin resistance while someone adheres to the diets principles and strictly limits their carb intake, these positive effects may be short-lasting. Results from some animal studies show that insulin resistance/glucose intolerance may potentially be increased once carbs are reintroduced back into the diet.

    However, other studies show the opposite to be true, especially among severely obese adults. Researchers, therefore, state that the effects of the keto diet on glucose homeostasis remains controversial and depends on the presence of type 2 diabetes before starting the diet, as well as genetic factors.

    3. Can cause side effects

    4. Might be difficult to maintain weight loss

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