Exploring the profound benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Kidney Disease (CKD) has become a focal point in the healthcare sphere. Derived from fatty fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, and certain algae, these essential nutrients are making waves in the realm of kidney health, demonstrating promising effects for individuals grappling with kidney disease.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Kidney Disease


By Majd Isreb, MD, FACP, FASN, IFMCP

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been found to exert strong anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic kidney disease is an inflammatory disorder. High levels of inflammatory markers have been reported in patients with CKD. Omega-3 fatty acids (n−3FA) have the capacity to dampen this inflammation, thereby potentially reducing injury to the kidneys and slowing the progression of the disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Balancing Lipid Profiles in Kidney Disease

Another vital benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in kidney disease is their ability to impact lipid profiles positively. A common issue associated with CKD is dyslipidemia, an abnormal amount of lipids (e.g., cholesterol, triglycerides) in the blood. This condition can lead to atherosclerosis, which may further deteriorate kidney function. Studies have shown that omega-3s can improve lipid profiles, reducing levels of harmful lipids and thereby potentially protecting against kidney function decline.


Clearly filtered


Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Blood Pressure Regulation

Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in blood pressure regulation. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is both a cause and a consequence of kidney disease. By helping to lower blood pressure, omega-3s may help to mitigate one of the significant risk factors for kidney disease progression.

Significant evidence supports the notion that omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure, especially in individuals with hypertension or high-normal blood pressure levels. To observe a notable reduction in blood pressure, the suggested daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids would likely need to be in the range of 3-4 grams.


Join us to end the kidney disease epidemic and receive the FREE Report “5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Caring for Kidney Patients”


Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reducing Proteinuria

Proteinuria, the excessive excretion of protein in the urine, is a prominent symptom of kidney disease. Proteinuria is also a marker of inflammation. It increases the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have demonstrated an ability to decrease proteinuria levels, contributing to improved overall kidney health. Some researchers believe that these effects are due to N-3FA on blood pressure control.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in IgA nephropathy

IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, is a kidney disorder that arises when IgA – a protein meant to protect the body from infections – settles in the kidneys, causing inflammation that gradually hinders kidney function.

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can play a role in managing this condition. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the inflammation associated with IgA nephropathy, potentially slowing its progression. Indeed, several studies have shown that N-3FA can slow down the progression of IgA nephropathy at various doses.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Health Management

Omega-3s can help manage complications of kidney disease, such as cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among individuals with kidney disease. N-3FA has well-documented heart health benefits in patients with CKD. This includes reducing inflammation, improving lipid profiles, and lowering blood pressure. Therefore, they may reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals with CKD.


Recommended Dosage of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Kidney Disease

Omega-3 supplements typically contain EPA and DHA, with dosages often specified by the amounts of these two ingredients. While many studies outline doses in terms of the ingredient used, others express them as grams of fish oil per day. EPA, renowned for its superior anti-inflammatory properties, is particularly beneficial. A daily intake of 2.5-3 grams of EPA has been demonstrated to significantly slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Finally, it is essential to ensure that you get a high-quality omega-3 supplement such as those found at Fullscript. When purchasing omega-3 products, opt for those which are certified for purity or bear a third-party seal. This guide can help you identify quality supplements.

Omega-3s also tend to spoil over time, losing their potency and possibly becoming harmful when rancid. They emit an unpleasant odor when spoiled. Therefore, it’s crucial to inspect the product’s date and smell it for freshness. Be sure to store your N-3FA supplement in the refrigerator, take it with meals, and avoid taking it with soda or coffee.



Integrating Omega-3 Fatty Acids into Comprehensive Kidney Disease Care

A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to slow down the progression of CKD. Omega-3 fatty acids should not be considered a standalone treatment for kidney disease but an essential part of a comprehensive dietary and lifestyle approach. Their potential benefits in kidney disease management make them a vital part of the diet for kidney health.

The bottom line

Omega-3 fatty acids in kidney disease have shown potential as a valuable dietary intervention, improving overall kidney health and slowing disease progression when used as part of a comprehensive care plan.