Living Donor Risks Living Kidney Donor

Sodium and Living Kidney Donors

Sure, everyone should pay attention to their sodium consumption, but living kidney donors are at a greater risk due to reduced nephrons. According to Brenner, this reduction limits the body’s ability to secrete sodium and can result in hypertension. High blood pressure, in turn, leads to heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases.

According to the CDC’s newest report, 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.

Mean daily sodium consumption was 3,266 mg. Approximately 44% of sodium consumption came from foods in the following 10 categories:

  • bread and rolls (7.4%),
  •  cold cuts/cured meats (5.1%), 
  • pizza (4.9%), 
  • fresh and processed poultry (4.5%), 
  • soups (4.3%), 
  • sandwiches like cheeseburgers (4.0%),†† 
  • cheese (3.8%), 
  • pasta mixed dishes (e.g., spaghetti with meat sauce) (3.3%), 
  • meat mixed dishes (e.g., meat loaf with tomato sauce) (3.2%), 
  • savory snacks (e.g., chips and pretzels) (3.1%)


Most sodium consumed (65.2%) came from foods obtained from a store (e.g., supermarket or convenience store). Restaurants were the source of 24.8% of the sodium consumed.

Two leading contributors to sodium consumption (pizza and poultry) are more often obtained from restaurants and locations other than stores.

What to do?

  • eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, or frozen veggies without sauce
  • read nutritional labels
  • look for low/reduced sodium options at restaurants and in grocery stores

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