Consumers’ Perspectives and Experiences of Prebiotics and Probiotics for Gut Health in Chronic Kidney Disease

Published:April 22, 2022DOI:


      Nutrition supplementation, including prebiotics and probiotics, is a therapeutic strategy for modulating the gut microbiome in chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the acceptability of gut-targeted supplements in this population remains largely unexplored. This study aims to describe the perceptions of nutrition supplementation, and the acceptability and experiences of pre- and probiotics in adults with Stage 3-4 CKD.

      Design and Methods

      Semi-structured interview study of adults with Stage 3-4 CKD (n = 30), aged 41-80 (mean 68) years, who completed a 12-month prebiotic and probiotic intervention or placebo, were interviewed between January and March 2019. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically.


      Five themes were identified: integrating and sustaining routine supplementation (flexibility in prescription of prebiotics and probiotics, fitting in with regular routines); striving for health benefits (hoping to improve kidney health, hoping to improve general health, confirming health benefits); facilitating pre- and probiotic supplementation (perceiving pre- and probiotics as safe, side-effects from taking pre- and probiotics); empowering knowledge (valuing the opportunity to increase knowledge of gut health); and considerations for future use (questioning credibility of health claims, average palatability of prebiotic powder, cost concerns).


      Adults with Stage 3-4 CKD found pre- and probiotic supplements to be acceptable and complementary gut-targeted supplements. Individual preferences for nutrition supplementation should be considered alongside health knowledge to enhance uptake and adherence in practice.

      Key Words

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