Your kidneys work hard every day to keep you alive. To keep your kidneys free from disease, it’s important to nourish these essential organs.
In this post, learn why magnesium is important for kidneys, and get your key questions answered, including whether magnesium citrate is safe for kidneys.
Why Kidney Health Matters
Kidneys are like the master chemists and master cleansers of the body.
The kidneys remove waste from the body, such as urea and creatinine; regulate and purge excess minerals such as magnesium, sodium and potassium; control the body’s water levels and blood pressure.
When the kidneys are under stress, we’re more at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases go hand in hand: existing diabetes can cause kidney deterioration and ultimately, chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Kidney Disease and Magnesium
We interviewed Fiona Chin, B.Hsc Naturopathy, Director, Author & Naturopath at the Kidney Coach on the role of magnesium in kidney health.
“Magnesium plays so many important roles within the body and not getting enough magnesium is linked to a variety of different symptoms and conditions.
Having an adequate intake of magnesium is equally important for people with kidney disease. Studies show that magnesium deficiency in people with CKD is associated with a more rapid decline in eGFR.
Magnesium citrate has an alkalising effect on the body which is why we recommend it for kidney disease.”
What the Research Says About Magnesium for Kidneys
The kidneys keep our magnesium levels in “homeostasis”, or in balance. Research suggests that magnesium also benefits the kidneys.
Since magnesium affects chemical reactions throughout the body, it’s quite likely that magnesium benefits the kidneys in multiple ways.
“From animal experiments, it is well known that feeding a severely magnesium-deficient diet will induce a pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative state leading to tissue injury. It is also known from these experiments that magnesium deficiency induces calcification of the kidney.” (American Journal of Nephrology, Magnesium and Kidney Health – More on the ‘Forgotten Electrolyte’)
Studies show that human subjects with low magnesium intake have higher markers of inflammation. Low magnesium is also associated with increased secretion of “fight-or-flight” neurotransmittors, like adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn constrict blood vessels in the kidneys. (American Journal of Nephrology)
Safety of Supplementing with Magnesium for Kidneys
Clearly, magnesium is recommended for healthy kidneys. But can you supplement with magnesium it you have CKD?
We asked ND Fiona Chin about the safety of supplementing with magnesium for anyone with existing kidney disease.
“Because the kidneys are responsible for the excretion of magnesium, as kidney function declines this can mean that magnesium levels may become too high. This typically doesn’t become a problem until people are in stage 4 to 5 CKD.
For this reason, those in the later stages of kidney disease shouldn’t take magnesium supplements unless they have their magnesium levels measured and discuss this with their healthcare provider.”