Higher Phosphorous Is Very Bad For Diabetic Nephropathy (AKA Diabetic Kidney Disease)!


  • New study confirms link between accelerated progression of diabetic kidney disease to end stage renal disease and a diet rich in phosphates.
  • All about phosphorous…what you need to know, what it does and what foods it’s in.
  • What you can do to avoid it in your day to day diet, step-by-step.
  • The proactive approach using supplements and natural remedies to counter the poisonous effects of phosphorous on the body.
  • How phosphates even put “normal” kidneys at EXTREME risk. You’ll definitely want to read this!

A recent study conducted by the National Clinical Research Center of Kidney Diseases in China’s Nanjing University School of Medicine was recently published in Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine. The study sought to reveal the predictive link between elevations in serum phosphorous levels and the speed at which diabetic kidney disease progresses. 

The study followed a group of 591 diabetic kidney disease patients and another group of 957 patients with IgA nephropathy (also known as Berger’s Disease). According to the study, among the diabetic  kidney disease patients, those with the highest serum phosphorous levels were 2.9 times more likely to face a more aggressive progression of their kidney disease. Those in the IgA group faced a 1.7 increase in disease progression.

This study builds upon previous research which followed a group of diabetics and identified a link between phosphorous elevation and a higher probability of developing serious kidney issues even in cases where there was no presence of the disease.

But, What Is Phosphorous?

Phosphorous is a natural mineral in our bodies. Nearly all of it is concentrated within bones and, indeed, much of its primary function pertains to development of healthy connective tissue and strengthening one’s bones and teeth.

It’s also a key ingredient in how the body metabolizes proteins, fats and carbs into fuel that the body can use. But, as with most minerals and especially in cases of kidney disease, too much of a good thing can quickly spell disaster if left unchecked. Phosphorous additives are present in numerous processed and canned foods which, unfortunately, are consumed very heavily, especially in America. With impaired kidney function, phosphorous cannot be filtered effectively and as the aforementioned study indicated, the more phosphorous you have, the higher the rate of disease progression and kidney decline.

Phosphorous levels, when they are high, are not only a harbinger of worsening kidney health, but also carry along with them their own veritable litany of symptoms, ranging from dire to troublesome, such as:

  • Cardiovascular and bone health conditions 
  • Renal osteodystrophy 
  • Lowered calcium levels which mean greater likelihood of sprains and breaks.
  • Tissue hardening throughout the body
  • Chronic pain and itchiness

What You Can Do To Keep Phosphorous Levels Balanced

Preventing phosphorous levels from escalating can go a long way toward delaying the speed of kidney function decline associated with your diabetes and/or kidney disease. As noted, since it is an additive in many unhealthy “junk” foods, one of the most important ways you can avoid heaping extra phosphorous into your system is by simply eliminating the foods in question from your diet.

Phosphorus and kidney disease food sources

Avoid Or Limit The Following: 

  • Proteins, namely meats. Seriously, you should be doing this anyway if you have kidney disease, but most meats (chicken, turkey, pork, organ meat), along with seafood, lentils and nuts have naturally higher levels of phosphorous, so you’ll want to definitely take a hard pass on these. 
  • Baked goods, such as: toaster pastries, pancake mix, biscuits, etc. These are usually laden with additional phosphate additives to facilitate the leavening process.
  • Junk and fast foods: A study of some of the most major fast food chains found that, overall 80% of menu items contained phosphate additives. 
  • Frozen Foods, these can also sometimes have phosphate additives as a preservative.
  • Soft Drinks, it’s not just foods…the sugary cola you’re drinking has plenty of synthetic phosphorous, so opt for water instead.

There are also some other options if excessive phosphorous levels are causing significant kidney impairment. Phosphate binders, for example, are widely-available medicines that can absorb phosphorous and expel it through the digestive tract, allowing the kidneys a much-needed respite from a task they may not be up to performing anymore.

Additionally, for many people, additional prescriptions can be a hassle…so luckily, there are natural alternatives which can be used to bind phosphorous and spare the kidneys any additional toxic loads.

We’ve written several articles exploring the benefits of Vitamin B3 and how effectively it can lower phosphorous levels in kidney disease, which you can read more of here:

This Vitamin Revitalizes Kidney Function

Kidney Disease Sufferers Can Lower Phosphates With Niacin

New Study Highlights Treatments to Reduce Phosphorous Levels In CKD Patients On Dialysis

Sodium Bicarbonate For Kidney Health – Myth or Medical Breakthrough?

What Does Phosphate Intake Do To Normal Kidneys?
As it turns out, phosphates aren’t particularly healthy for people with regular kidney function either. When people with normal kidney function consume diets that are rich in phosphates, they experience increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

Phosphate consumption and its effect on health has caused sufficient enough concern to warrant the pursuit of at least one recent study in the past few years which followed a group of 20 young adults and randomly assigned them either low or high phosphate diets.

Researchers found that the high-phosphate group exhibited much higher levels of blood pressure, plasma phosphate levels, pulse rate and levels of metanephrine and normetanephrine in the urine. These are byproducts associated with the development of rare tumors. The low-phosphate group saw no such elevations.

At the very least, this study re-iterated the highly toxic nature of regular consumption of a diet rich in high-phosphate foods and beverages and also provided ample incentive to begin adopting a healthier diet that is more conscientious of phosphorous content.

If you’d like more insight into the content of phosphorous in foods, you’ll definitely want to check out the All-Natural Kidney Health and Kidney Function Restoration Program on our shop page, which includes a detailed guide to phosphorous content in all the most popular foods you’re probably consuming.