Nutritional and dietary interventions to prolong renal allograft survival after kidney transplantation.

Ekamol Tantisattamo, Beaumont Health
Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh
Miklos Z Molnar


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Diet plays an important role in slowing progression of chronic kidney disease in native and transplanted kidneys. There is limited evidence on the association on dietary intake with renal allograft function. Mechanisms of major nutrients and dietary patterns with focusing on a plant-based diet related to kidney transplant health and longevity are reviewed.

RECENT FINDINGS: High dietary protein intake may adversely affect renal allograft. Low protein plant-focused diets such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, plant-dominant low-protein diet and Mediterranean diets appear associated with favorable outcomes in slowing renal allograft function decline. The mechanism may be related to a change in renal hemodynamic by decreasing glomerular hyperfiltration from low dietary protein intake and plant-based ingredients. Recent observational studies of association between dietary protein intake and kidney allograft outcomes are conflicting. Although strong evidence is still lacking, a low protein diet of 0.6-0.8 g/kg/day with at least 50% of the protein source from plant-based components in kidney transplant recipients with stable kidney allograft function should be considered as the dietary target.

SUMMARY: Dietary intervention with low-protein plant-focused meals may improve outcomes in kidney transplant recipients, but the evidence remains limited and further studies are warranted.