Kidney Diet Tips

What is the purpose of a renal vitamin for kidney dialysis patients?

renal vitamins

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.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.