Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 8–16% of the population worldwide. In developed countries, the most important risk factors for CKD are diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, calling into question the importance of educating and acting on lifestyles and nutrition. A balanced diet and supplementation can indeed support the maintenance of a general health status, including preservation of renal function, and can help to manage and curb the main risk factors for renal damage. While the concept of protein and salt restriction in nephrology is historically acknowledged, the role of some nutrients in renal health and the importance of nutrition as a preventative measure for renal care are less known. In this narrative review, we provide an overview of the demonstrated and potential actions of some selected nutrients, nutraceuticals, and xenobiotics on renal health and function. The direct and indirect effects of fiber, protein, fatty acids, curcumin, steviol glycosides, green tea, coffee, nitrates, nitrites, and alcohol on kidney health are reviewed here. In view of functional and personalized nutrition, understanding the renal and systemic effects of dietary components is essential since many chronic conditions, including CKD, are related to systemic dysfunctions such as chronic low-grade inflammation.
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