The term kidney supplements refers to several herbs and dietary supplements that are meant to promote the general health and functioning of the kidneys. These supplements may be used in order to keep these key organs working well, or to provide symptom relief in the event of kidney disease. Manufacturers may sell single formulations that contain several of these components, but taking these supplements separately usually works equally well. Caution and a doctor's permission should be used when taking kidney supplements, however, since some herbs, plants, and chemical compounds can actually be harmful to the these organs, even when marketed as being safe, or even beneficial.
Carnitine is an amino acid compound normally made in the kidneys, and is stored in various sites in the body, where it assists in the process of converting fat into muscle tissue. Kidney disease can lead to insufficient carnitine levels in the body, and doctors may recommend taking this supplement in order to restore the body to proper functioning. This compound helps to reduce damage to the body from free radicals, which can also serve to promote kidney health.
Another one of the important kidney supplements that have been assessed by the medical community is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA, a type of fish oil, can help to reduce inflammation from some disorders, and promotes healthy blood vessel function. Doctors may recommend taking it in capsule form, at doses of around 220 milligrams (mg) per day, or by eating cold-water fish two to three times every week. Some levels of EPA can interact with other medications, however, and can cause loose stools.
Grape seed is one of the more popular kidney supplements. This has traditionally been used to treat pain and inflammation, along with other kidney disease symptoms, and may also help to reduce oxidative damage from free radicals. It may be obtained by eating grapes, or by taking extracts approved as dietary supplements.
Other types of kidney supplements that could prove helpful include horsetail, zinc, and lemon juice. Horsetail is an herb that assists in urination and may help the body clear kidney stones. Zinc, an essential mineral, may help to alleviate some kidney disease symptoms. Lemon juice, direct from the fruit, may help prevent kidney stones from forming, as well as break down stones that have already formed. Finally, a diet rich in vitamins such as B, C, and E can do much to ensure that the body functions well even in the presence of organ problems.