Diet and nutrition

Eating a well-balanced diet is especially important after liver transplant to help you recover and keep you healthy.

Your Mayo Clinic transplant team includes a nutrition specialist (dietitian) who can discuss your nutrition and diet needs and answer any questions you have after your transplant.

In general, your diet after liver transplant should be low in salt, cholesterol, fat and sugar.

To prevent damaging your new liver, it's important to avoid alcohol. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or use alcohol in cooking.

Your Mayo Clinic dietitian will also provide you with several healthy food options and ideas to use in your nutrition plan. Your dietitian's recommendations after kidney transplant may include these steps:

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, pomegranates, or Seville oranges due to their effect on a group of immunosuppression medications (calcineurin inhibitors)
  • Have enough fiber in your daily diet
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed ones
  • Drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products, which is important to maintain optimal calcium and phosphorus levels
  • Eat lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Follow food safety guidelines
  • Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water and other fluids each day
Sept. 24, 2016
References
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  2. Liver transplant. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/transplant/. Accessed June 13, 2016.
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  4. Questions & answers for transplant candidates about MELD and PELD. United Network for Organ Sharing. http://www.unos.org/docs/MELD_PELD. Accessed May 28, 2014.
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  6. Selecting a hospital. United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/getting-on-the-list/selecting-a-hospital/. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  7. Dove LM, et al. Liver transplantation in adults: Patient selection and pretransplantation evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  8. Bambha K, et al. Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  9. Cotler S. Living donor liver transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  10. Partnering with your transplant team: The patient's guide to transplantation. United Network for Organ Sharing. https://www.unos.org/wp-content/uploads/unos/WEPNTK.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2016.
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  12. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Liver transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  13. Glorioso JM, et al. Pivotal preclinical trial of the spheroid reservoir bioartificial liver. Journal of Hepatology. 2015;63:388.
  14. Yu Y, et al. Cell therapies for liver diseases. Liver Transplantation. 2012;18:9.
  15. Taner T, et al. Decreased chronic cellular and antibody-mediated injury in the kidney following simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation. Kidney International. 2016;89:909.
  16. De Assuncao TM, et al. Development and characterization of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cholangiocytes. Laboratory Investigation. 2015;95:684.
  17. Croome KP, et al. The use of donation after cardiac death allografts does not increase recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma. American Journal of Transplantation. 2015;15:2704.
  18. Tincani G, et al. Operative risks of domino liver transplantation for the familial amyloid polyneuropathy liver donor and recipient: A double analysis. American Journal of Transplantation. 2011;11:750.
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  20. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. http://www.srtr.org/default.aspx. Accessed April 11, 2016.
  21. Heimbach JK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 19, 2016.