Can Probiotics Cause Kidney Problems? (stones, failure, pains)
Before making any decisions about adding probiotics into your daily routine, it’s important to understand the risk factors associated with taking these supplemental bacteria strains and how they could potentially affect your kidneys.
Recent studies show about 10% of the world population and 15% of the US adult population is affected by kidney disease. These individuals must monitor their diet plans strictly to avoid putting extra load on their kidneys.
That’s why physicians recommend they limit the consumption of certain dietary ingredients like meat, sodium/potassium-containing foods, and fats. But what about probiotic foods? Do they also harm the kidney or make conditions worse?
- Probiotic supplementation helps in CKD therapies.
- Friendly microbes lower blood concentration of urea and other nitrogenous toxins.
- Anti-inflammatory secretions of probiotic strains also reduce the risk of inflammation due to kidney issues.
Scientific trials prove that friendly gut bacteria help reduce kidney exertion and are safe for kidney patients.
Keep reading to find out how gut microbes can affect kidney functions and which probiotics kidney patients should use:
How Do Probiotics Affect The Kidneys? (How They Help Kidney Function)
Probiotic intake positively affects your kidney health. Many clinical trials have proven that friendly bacteria can make your kidney work better.
And below is how probiotic foods and supplements may improve renal functioning;
1. Lower Blood Urea Concentration
Various studies confirm that blood urea levels in kidney patients drop when they start using probiotic supplements.
This effect is constantly reported from trials testing the efficacy of different bacterial strains, multi-strain products, and symbiotic (probiotics + prebiotics) products.
For example, this paper reviewed the use of probiotics in CKD patients at different stages, including patients on dialysis.
It suggests probiotics as an effective tool to improve the quality of life in kidney patients, reduce inflammation and slow down kidney failure.
Similarly, the famous probiotic strain, L. casei strain, was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial performed in México. According to its results, the probiotic supplementation caused a 10% decrease in blood urea concentration.
Other studies prove the efficacy of other lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, oxalobacter, streptococcus, and saccharomyces strains in lowering blood urea concentration.
However, the exact mechanism of microbial action on urea is not yet completely understood. The urea concentration probably declines because gut bacteria utilize urea precursors formed in protein metabolism.
2. Remove Uremic Toxins
Uremic toxins (toxic chemicals present in blood due to damaged kidneys) are widely studied and understood in renal therapeutics.
Protein metabolism forms many toxic nitrogenous compounds like cresols and indoles. These compounds are then filtered in the kidneys and excreted from the body via urine.
However, friendly gut bacteria can degrade these harmful protein metabolites, especially p-cresol. This breakdown reduces the load on the kidneys so they can filter blood more easily.
3. Reduce Inflammation
An important contribution of friendly gut microbes against any disease is their anti-inflammatory effects. These bacteria secrete compounds that eliminate inflammatory compounds and protect body tissues against harmful compounds.
4. Prevent Stone Formation
You can use probiotics for kidney stone inhibition, especially if your diet includes a lot of leafy vegetables.
Research proves that probiotic strains from Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Oxalobacter families can break down oxalates in the gut, keeping blood oxalate levels in check.
Hence, the chances of kidney stone formation are minimized as the main raw materials for stone formation (oxalate and its derivatives) are degraded in probiotic metabolism.
So, Are Probiotics Bad For Kidney Disease?
No, probiotics aren’t bad for the kidneys. Instead, they benefit CKD patients in several ways. They aid in kidney functions and reduce the number of nitrogenous toxins in blood, prevent inflammation, and delay stone formation in kidneys.
Also, they improve gut conditions and enhance immunity against renal drugs and antibiotics.
Can Probiotics Cause Kidney Pain?
No scientific evidence is to be found indicating that probiotics can cause kidney pain.
Various clinical studies have been performed to analyze the effects of probiotics on renal disease patients, but none of them associated gut microbes with kidney pain.
Best Probiotics For Kidney Disease Patients
Probiotic supplements are generally safe and beneficial for kidney patients.
Still, I recommend you consult your doctor before incorporating a new product into your routine to reassure its safety and usability.
The following are the best multi-strain probiotics for kidney patients;
1. Probulin Colon Support Probiotics– Probiotics For CKD With Best Strain Combination
CFU: 20 Billion
Dosage: 1 Capsule daily
- Lactobacillus (plantarum, casei, acidophilus, rhmnosus, bulgaricus, helveticus)
- Bifidobacterium (breve, longum, bifidum, infantis)
- Streptococcus thermophilus
Form: MAKTrek 3‑D Seaweed-based capsules
Certifications: Third-Party Lab tested
Cost: $42.99 for a pack of 60 pills
Probullin colon support probiotics are specially formulated to enhance toxin degradation in the colon. This degradation ultimately aids kidney function by reducing the number of toxins that must be filtered from the blood.
This supplement contains strains from 3 bacterial families that are widely studied for their efficacy in CKD treatment.
Among these strains, Streptococcus thermophiles colonize in the large intestine and can quickly consume nitrogenous and sulfate by-products of protein metabolism. In this way, it changes uremic toxins to harmless compounds.
According to a review from Sydney Medical School, S. thermophiles supplementation in chronic kidney disease patients reduces Uremia and slows the progression of kidney failure.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains show similar results.
Plus, the anti-inflammatory activities of these strains protect body tissues from nitrogenous toxins.
Where to buy: From Probulin’s official website or its Amazon Store.
2. Biotics 8– Best Synbiotic Supplement For Kidney Patients
CFU: 20 billion
Dosage: 3 capsules daily
- Lactobacillus (casei, paracasei, plantarum, fermentum, longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, rhamnosus)
- Bifidobacteria (longum, breve)
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Prebiotics: Chicory root fiber
Cost: $64.99 for 1 bottle, $129.99 for 3 bottles (deal; buy 2 get 1 free), $194.99 for 5 bottles (deal; buy 3 get 2 free)
Biotic 8 is a multi-strain synbiotic supplement that supports gut, kidney, immunity, and cognitive functions. Though designed for men, it is equally beneficial for everyone.
It has bacterial strains from the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium families and 1 strain of the Saccharomyces family.
A controlled trial shows supplements with lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species reduce inflammatory compounds produced in CKD and increase the serum level of anti-inflammatory particles like IL-10.
Plus, you get a dose of prebiotic fibers inside each serving. This ingredient combination makes it an ideal supplement for kidney patients.
Research journal infers that symbiotic (probiotics + prebiotics) supplementation reduces the number of indole metabolites (toxins that trigger kidney failure).
Besides that, Biotics 8 has vitamin D and digestive enzymes. The addition of vitamin D is especially important because kidney disease patients often experience a vitamin D deficiency.
Where to buy: From Biotics8’s official website ($64.99 per bottle)
Ps: They also offer discounts and free bottles on bulk purchases.
3. Kibnow Renadyl– A Probiotic Supplement Formulated For Renal Patients
CFU: 45 billion CFUs
Dosage: Twice daily (dose of 1-2 capsules as recommended by your physician)
- Saccharomyces thermophilous KB-19
- Lactobacillus acidophilus KB-27
- Bifidobacterium longum KB-31
Prebiotics: Inulin and Xylo-oligosaccharides
Certifications: GMP certified
Storage: Shelf-stable till 2 weeks; keep it refrigerated for maximum efficacy
Cost: $148.50 for 3 month’s supply
Renadyl is a probiotic supplement specially formulated for kidney disease patients.
It is also used as a probiotic source in different studies on probiotics and kidney disease. Results from this research confirm its efficacy in CKD treatment.
It contains 2 bacterial and 1 yeast strain, which significantly reduce uremic toxin levels and prevent inflammation, as confirmed by the Medical center of the State University of New York, USA.
Its strains can pick and degrade compounds that are even left out during dialysis, but they slowly damage the heart and blood vessels.
Its Uremia-reducing effects are so strong that kidney patients often see a remarkable improvement shortly after they start the supplementation.
For example, in his Amazon review, Bill wrote about how the supplement saved him from going on dialysis. His kidney function was reduced to only 33% due to infection, but Renadyl helped him return to the safe level of 50%.
Where to buy: Available at Kibnow’s official website ($148.50 for 3 bottles), online marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, etc.), and local pharmacies.
Can probiotics lower creatinine?
Clinical researches prove that probiotics lower blood urea and nitrogen levels; however, their effect on creatinine levels is not certain. A few research papers consider probiotics can degrade creatinine and its derivatives in the colon, thereby reducing the overall concentration.
However, most clinical studies like this one suggest no association between probiotics and creatinine levels.
Do probiotics affect potassium levels?
No, probiotics do not affect blood concentrations of potassium, sodium, or uric acid.
Are probiotics hard on kidneys?
No probiotics are not bad for kidneys; in fact, friendly gut bacteria tend to aid kidneys in toxin removal.
(Complete details discussed in the above section)
Is Yakult good for CKD patients?
Yakult drinks are good for kidney patients because their probiotic content helps lower the urea level. These drinks are safe and beneficial for CKD patients, as this research on dialysis patients suggests.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, USA, a CKD patient can safely consume up to 75 grams of carbohydrates in each meal and 30 grams of carbohydrates in each snack.
And 1 bottle of Yakult has only 12 grams of carbohydrates, and its potassium content is also very low. So, you can consume it as a snack or with meals.