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What is the purpose of a renal vitamin for kidney dialysis patients?
People on dialysis take a special renal vitamin preparation that contains B vitamins with extra folic acid and a limited amount of vitamin C. There are several reasons why dialysis patients take renal vitamins:
- to replace vitamins removed during each dialysis treatment
- the dialysis diet is inadequate in vitamins due to limits on fruits, vegetables and foods like milk, whole grains, nuts seeds and legumes
- a limited variety of foods and poor appetite contributes to nutrient deficiencies
- adequate amounts of folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 are required to make red blood cells and prevent anemia
- vitamin deficiencies increase risk for infection
Examples of renal vitamins are Dialyvite®, Nephrocaps®, Nephrovite®, Nephplex®, and Renaltab®. Some brands require a prescription and others are available over the counter. Kidney doctors or renal dietitians usually make recommendations on which renal vitamin to take.