Soy Is A Kidney’s Good Friend! And Science Says So!

Soy protein is a popular and prevalent ingredient in many vegetarian dishes, especially those considered meat substitutes. It has often been touted for both its benefits and versatility, but how does it fit into a kidney disease diet? Is it a healthy option or should it be avoided altogether? A new study has taken the time to explore these questions more thoroughly.

Randomized trials were conducted following a comprehensive search of Embase, Medline and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews performed in December of 2013. These trials sought to identify and analyze the effects of soy in patients suffered from chronic kidney disease. 

Included in the trial were 12 studies, consisting of 280 participants in all. The studies concluded that dietary soy was connected with a significant decrease of serum phosphorous, serum creatinine, CRP (C reactive protein) and proteinuria in the the subgroup of pre-dialysis CKD sufferers. This was different from what was observed in the group of CKD sufferers already on dialysis, in which there was no significant change in serum phosphorus or CRP levels.

Perhaps most interesting in the study, was the observation that in both the pre-dialysis and dialysis subgroups, the Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) levels were significantly reduced in the group that consumed soy-protein as opposed to the control group that was not.

Although soy protein consumption seemed to significantly decrease serum creatinine and phosphorous along with CRP and proteinurea, there was no significant change in creatinine clearance and glomerular filtration rate.

All in all, the study seemed to indicate that eating soy protein could help to maintain good nutritional status in CKD patients on dialysis or even those in the pre-dialysis phase.

What Are Some Of The Most Obvious Benefits of Eating Soy Protein?

  • High Quality Kidney-Friendly Protein, Similar To Animal Protein, Only Plant-Based
  • Unlike Meats, Is Cholesterol-Free
  • Also Low In Saturated Fats
  • Meat-like Texture Lends Itself To Numerous Recipes
  • Many Choices: Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame, Veggie Meat-Options (Morningstar, etc.)

Although soy protein is made from soybeans which some sources cite as being naturally higher in potassium and phosphorous, this is not usually an issue as phosphorous from vegetables is not absorbed as well.

Regardless, be sure to always check your nutrition labels and maintain balance in your diet, as we often advise! Also, be sure to read our All-Natural Kidney Function Restoration Guide if you haven’t already for many more kidney-friendly recipes.