PKD Diet

What is the PKD Diet?

The Polycystic Diet is simply a plant based diet without any animal proteins: eat things that grow from the earth; discard the rest. PKD Diet is a neutral protein, an alkaline plant based diet. It is low in salt and allows for sufficient water intake to shut down vasopressin. It keeps a cystic body well hydrated.


Through maintaining alkalinity one can increase the integrity of ones own personal DNA, thus squelching the second hit mechanism that causes an increase in cyst numbers and symptoms. We have gathered this alkaline dietary information from amongst our mutual experiences in enhancing the health of cystic kidneys, cystic liver, and cystic organs. Some have measured their girth eliminating a food for a week, then re-trying that same food again while making note of any symptoms or increase in girth or pain that might occur. Girth is measured at the same spot, the same time each day. These changes are incorporated into PKD Diet as dietary information from each of us, from our researchers, and from our doctors is made available.

Should any find it difficult to eat only plant based foods, then limit animal products to occasional broths, lamb, flat white fish, soft white cheese, cottage cheese, egg yolk, and keep quantities to less than 3 ounces per day and no more frequently than twice a week. If one must eat animal proteins, some have tried better protein choices. There are also some greener meat alternatives and consider the carbon foot print when buying meats vs. vegetables. Diet: A free living diet study.

Plant Based Alkaline Diet

Enjoy eating foods that grow from plants of the earth like fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and grains. This is a whole foods plant based vegan alkaline diet geared toward PKD kidney health and PLD liver health. Cooking all food yourself from locally grown in season produce goes a long way to maintaining the health of cystic organs.


Neutral Protein 0.6 grams/kilogram

Protein in is equal to protein out. Calculate your daily protein. 3 ounces of fish is about the size of a deck of cards. 1 ounce of cheese is equal to one dice. Protein is set individually to maintain a neutral protein balance between 0.6 grams 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Protein quantities from certain foods has been compiled into a chart by a fellow PKD'r. Some protein foods from a plant based diet are: spelt [the highest amount of protein among grains], cabbage juice, carrot juice, corn, chia seed, and of course nuts, beans, legumes, grains, and seeds. Soak nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and grains prior to cooking to diminish their phytic acid content. By preparing food in this fashion, foods become alkaline and more digestible.

Avoid Carrageenan
Carrageenan even in small quantities is to be avoided. Become an avid label reader.

Life-Span Extension Methionine Restriction.
This is a caloric restricted diet low in methionine thought to extend life expectancy. Foods that are high in methionine are animal proteins. Restriction of methionine foods is also thought to help decrease cancers.

1200 mg sodium

Sodium or salt intake is limited to 1/8 teaspoon per day or a 1200 mg sodium diet. Many have tried Himalayan pink crystal salt and have experienced no rise in their blood pressure when using small quantities (1200 mg) of this salt. Recently there has been some conflicting information about Himalayan salt; our experience is that it is beneficial. If you have had a transplant, these individuals must restrict all salt or they swell.

3 Liters water or twice your daily output

Drinking enough water, to raise serum osmolality just above that of urine shuts down vasopressin, similar to the still-in-clinical-trials experimental drug, tolvaptan. Tolvaptan Slows Kidney Disease Progress

Does Diet Help?

Urine Alkalization Facilitates Uric Acid Excretion 2010

In Japan they used two types of diets, one of meats (acidify urines); the other fruit and vegetable rich, converts the urine to alkaline. This was a 5 day consecutive study. They collected all day urines from participants and found that after three days urine pH reached a steady state. Researchers conclude that alkalization of urine by eating nutritionally well-designed alkaline foods are effective for removing uric acid from the body. Uric acid is elevated in PKD.

Support for Less Salt, More Potassium 2013

The idea that reducing salt intake -- and increasing potassium intake -- can lower blood pressure and improve disease outcomes has received additional support from three systematic reviews.

Diet vs Alkalizers in Chronic Kidney Disease 2013

One year of fruits and vegetables or NaHCO in individuals with stage 4 CKD yielded eGFR that was not different, was associated with higher-than-baseline PTCO, and was associated with lower-than-baseline urine indices of kidney injury. The data indicates that eating fruits and vegetables improves metabolic acidosis and reduces kidney injury in stage 4 CKD without producing hyperkalemia.

Saving Failing Kidneys

This is a very interesting Malaysian newspaper article. From this article one can learn that for most of the citizens of Malaysia there are very few treatment alternatives to save their their failing kidneys and according to this article, dietary changes is good place for one to start. Those who can make the switch to all vegetarian proteins seem to have a much easier time with maintaining their health.

Diet-induced metabolic acidosis

"The modern Western-type diet is deficient in fruits and vegetables and contains excessive animal products, generating the accumulation of non-metabolizable anions and a lifespan state of overlooked metabolic acidosis, whose magnitude increases progressively with aging due to the physiological decline in kidney function. In response to this state of diet-derived metabolic acidosis, the kidney implements compensating mechanisms aimed to restore the acid-base balance, such as the removal of the non-metabolizable anions, the conservation of citrate, and the enhancement of kidney ammoniagenesis and urinary excretion of ammonium ions. These adaptive processes lower the urine pH and induce an extensive change in urine composition, including hypocitraturia, hypercalciuria, and nitrogen and phosphate wasting. Low urine pH predisposes to uric acid stone formation. Hypocitraturia and hypercalciuria are risk factors for calcium stone disease. Even a very mild degree of metabolic acidosis induces skeletal muscle resistance to the insulin action and dietary acid load may be an important variable in predicting the metabolic abnormalities and the cardiovascular risk of the general population, the overweight and obese persons, and other patient populations including diabetes and chronic kidney failure. High dietary acid load is more likely to result in diabetes and systemic hypertension and may increase the cardiovascular risk. Results of recent observational studies confirm an association between insulin resistance and metabolic acidosis markers, including low serum bicarbonate, high serum anion gap, hypocitraturia, and low urine pH."

With PKD we are prone to: hypocitraturia, hypertension, elevated uric acid, stone formation, low urine pH, osteopenia, and chronic kidney failure.

Mediterrean Diet

The transition to avoiding all animal products can be difficult. Some have tried the Mediterrean diet. Another possible benefit can be a ↓ in ASHD or heart disease. The Mediterrean diet consists of eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Limiting animal protein to less than 3 ounces once or twice a week, and using a splash of olive oil.


Omega 3's, omega 6's, and essential fatty acids are those which need to be consumed daily for health. One of the best amongst these are organic hempseed oil capsules from Manitoba and another is chia seed and a third is purslane, a vegetable often discarded as a weed. Fish oil and flax are to be avoided especially if one has liver cysts.

Here is a study about fats in the USA.

For Your Reference

Kidney: Enjoy Foods Alkaline Diet Clinical Trials Liver Enjoy Foods
Kidney: Enjoy Also Protein Chart of Foods Liver Enjoy Also
Kidney Enjoy Herbs Protein Calculate Neutral Liver Enjoy Herbs
Kidney Avoid Foods Protein Moringa Oleifera Liver Avoid Foods 180kb PDF
Kidney Avoid Also Avoid: Chemicals Liver Avoid Also 201kb PDF
Kidney Avoid Herbs PLD Better Animal Choices Liver Avoid Herbs 90kb PDF
Kidney Menu PKD Better Animal Choices Liver Menu 115kb PDF
Meat Eaters Guide Phytoestrogens Avoid Meat Carbon Footprint
Vitamin K foods Fish: Seafood Watch App Xenoestrogens Avoid 172kb
Low High Potassium Fish: Mercury Wallet Phthalates
Magnesium Fish: Mercury App Produce: Harvest App
Potassium Fish: Mercury Produce: App
↓Phosphorus ↓Potassium Fish: Seafood Watch Produce: Locavore App
Phosphorus Albumin Produce: Dirty Dozen App
Produce: Dirty Dozen Restaurant Nutrition App Produce: What On My Food
Cosmetic Data Base Sunscreen App Sunscreen
PKD Diet Kidney iBookstore Danevas PLD Diet Liver iBookstore
PKD Diet Kidney Kindle Saving Failing Kidneys PLD Diet Liver Kindle
PKD Diet Kidney PDF Coping with Kidney Disease PLD Diet Liver PDF

We are  sharing our experiences with PKD/PLD Diet, an adjunct diet envisioning it complementing a physician's prescribed medical therapy. Consider testing this with your doctor's prior knowledge, who can  adjust it according to your own uniqueness by adding it to your current  treatment.

Medical Disclaimer