Can Moderate Beer Drinking Help Your Kidneys?

It's no secret that drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your kidneys, but a large new study suggests that drinking in moderation may actually reduce the risk of kidney stones. Moderate drinking is defined as no more than three drinks per day (or seven per week) for women and no more than four drinks per day (or 14 per week) for men. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, has been found to double the risk of kidney disease. Beer is often thought to be beneficial for kidney health due to its diuretic properties, which help to flush out small stones before they become larger. However, it is important to check with your nephrologist or kidney dietitian first to find out if alcohol is safe for you.

If it is, they will advise you on the types and amounts that are right for you. People who drink alcohol regularly have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) compared to those who drink in moderation. When you drink a lot, your kidneys have to work harder to filter the alcohol. In rare cases, excessive consumption of five or more drinks at a time can cause a sudden decrease in kidney function called acute kidney injury. This serious illness occurs when alcohol toxins accumulate in the blood so quickly that the kidneys are unable to maintain proper fluid balance. Although it is reversible with treatment, it may increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Drinking alcohol has no nutritional benefit for kidney disease, so it is not necessary in your daily life. Regular consumption of excessive alcohol can double the risk of chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol each week have a lower risk of developing CKD compared to those who never drink, and higher levels of alcohol consumption are associated with greater protection up to a limit of 20 drinks per week. Alcohol can also cause cells in the body to retain water, resulting in swelling and less volume of water in the blood, causing the kidneys to filter thicker blood and putting them at risk of developing stones due to toxic chemicals in the blood. When you drink beer in moderation, it helps increase urine flow and dilute urine, making it less likely for kidney stones to form. Red wine has similar health effects as white wine but contains more vitamins and minerals that improve the condition of the kidneys and reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease. When a person has kidney disease such as CKD, drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of causing more damage to the kidneys.

A study by the American Kidney Fund suggests that drinkers of diet carbonated soft drinks or regular carbonated drinks every day may be at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Excessive drinking every day is not only harmful to the kidneys but also harmful to the liver and blood pressure. Since the kidneys are literally a blood filter, the amount of fluid and how quickly it moves through the bloodstream affect their functioning.