Everything You Need to Know About Phosphorus in Milk & Kidney Disease

Dairy products are a part of our standard diet. It’s in everything from your morning coffee to a topping on your pizza. Yet, dairy including milk contain phosphorus.

Phosphorus is a nutrient, a mineral, which is filtered by your kidneys. When you have kidney disease, phosphorus levels can become dangerously high because your kidneys can’t filter it effectively. 

High phosphorus levels leach calcium from your bones. This process can cause calcium deposits in blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and heart. Over time this can lead to increased risk of heart attack , stroke, or death with people with kidney disease.

Is Cow’s Milk High in Phosphorus Content? Cow’s milk contains good amounts of phosphorus. According to the NIH, National Institute for Health, one cup of 2% cow's milk has 226 mg of phosphorus. For those with kidney disease, it’s recommended to keep your daily levels under 800-1000mg.

What Is a Safe Blood Level of Phosphorus? There’s no real way for you to know on a day-to-day basis how much phosphorus is in your blood when you are following a renal diet. The recommended range for dialysis patients is 3.0 to 5.5 mg/dL so 3 to 5.5 mg of phosphorus per deciliter of blood.

Can Kidney Patients Drink Milk? Generally speaking, you can drink milk if you limit your intake, and you are vigilant about reducing your consumption of other high phosphorus foods.

The Best Low Phosphorus Milk Plant based milk tends to have lower phosphorus levels than cow’s milk. However, some of them can still have very high levels of phosphorus.

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