Look after the health of your gut to support your kidney health

There is emerging evidence of a gut kidney axis. This means that the type of microbes present in your gut may directly influence the health and function of your kidneys. There are many ways your gut may influence your kidneys. Here are two ways you can support your kidney health.

Risk of Kidney Stones

Picture of two apple pie smoothie with cinnamon and granola

80% of kidney stones diagnosed are made from calcium-oxalate. In a healthy gut microbiome, there are bacteria that break down oxalate. A well-known strain to do this is Oxalobacter formigenes.

Two ways you can keep this type of bacteria in your gut is firstly through consuming adequate dietary fibre. An adult needs 25-30g of dietary fibre each day. Including a variety of different plant foods throughout your week gives your body different types of fibre to benefit from.

Another food to add to this variety is theSouth Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custard with Added Fibre. Providing your body with over 1/3rd of your daily dietary needs in one delicious pouch.

Being obese puts you at greater risk of developing kidney stones. Fibre can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones by helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Fibre causes a gradual release of sugar into your blood stream which creates sustained energy, keeping you fuller for longer and overall reducing your food intake.

Secondly, including probiotic foods two times a day like kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and miso. This will promote a diverse range of good bacteria in your gut which is far more beneficial for your health than one single probiotic strain.

Sodium Regulation

Picture of Blackberry and raspberry and strawberry smoothie

A diet that is too high in salt leads to a reduction of the type of microbes that promote the health of your kidneys. The change in the types of microbes leads to different signals being created which have a negative effect on the health of your kidneys.

Specifically, research has shown a reduction in Firmicutes which promote kidney health and increased levels of Bacteroidetes and Burkholderiales which reduce kidney function.

The ability of kidneys to remove excess salt declined with this unbalance of more ‘bad’ bacteria. As a result, the systolic blood pressure or pressure of when your heart contracts increased, and blood pressure also increased.

Take home message:

Look after the health of your gut to support your kidney health. This post is a reminder of just how powerful your gut is at influencing other parts of your body. If you are wanting to promote the health of your kidneys make sure you are keeping your gut healthy and providing it with a diet that allows your kidneys to work at their best.


  1. Hu, J., Luo, H., Wang, J. et al. Enteric dysbiosis-linked gut barrier disruption triggers early renal injury induced by chronic high salt feeding in mice. Exp Mol Med 49, e370 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/emm.2017.122
  3. Robijn S, Hoppe B, Vervaet BA, D’Haese PC, Verhulst A. Hyperoxaluria: a gut–kidney axis? Kidney International. 2011;80(11):1146-58.
  4. Kaufman DW, Kelly JP, Curhan GC, et al. Oxalobacter formigenes may reduce the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008;19(6):1197-1203. doi:10.1681/ASN.2007101058
  5. Hoppe B, Beck B, Gatter N, von Unruh G, Tischer A, Hesse A, Laube N, Kaul P, Sidhu H. Oxalobacter formigenes: a potential tool for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1. Kidney Int. 2006 Oct;70(7):1305-11. doi: 10.1038/sj.ki.5001707. Epub 2006 Jul 19. PMID: 16850020.
  6. Jiang Z, Asplin JR, Evan AP, Rajendran VM, Velazquez H, Nottoli TP, Binder HJ, Aronson PS. Calcium oxalate urolithiasis in mice lacking anion transporter Slc26a6. Nat Genet. 2006 Apr;38(4):474-8. doi: 10.1038/ng1762. Epub 2006 Mar 12. PMID: 16532010.
  7. Clark JS, Vandorpe DH, Chernova MN, Heneghan JF, Stewart AK, Alper SL. Species differences in Cl- affinity and in electrogenicity of SLC26A6-mediated oxalate/Cl- exchange correlate with the distinct human and mouse susceptibilities to nephrolithiasis. J Physiol. 2008 Mar 1;586(5):1291-306. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2007.143222. Epub 2008 Jan 3. PMID: 18174209; PMCID: PMC2375677.