Give Your Kidneys Some Love

Love your kidneys with some help from Betsy's Health Foods

Your kidneys work hard every minute of every day to process through waste and extra water, which through extensive chemical processes eventually become urine that flows to the bladder to be eliminated. The kinds of foods you eat, the medicines you take, the liquids you drink, all play a role in the battering or nurturing your kidneys take in doing this service for your health.

In these studies, various vitamins and minerals showed benefits for kidney health. Find out more:

Nutrients delay onset and reduce chances of kidney disease

Folic acid

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often have elevated levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory factor linked to folate deficiency. In this study, 15,104 participants with moderate or chronic kidney disease continued to take enalapril to slow its progress, with or without 800 mcg of folic acid per day.

Over an average 4.4 years of follow-up, those taking folic acid were 21 percent less likely to see the condition progress compared to those who took enalapril alone. Among those who began the study with CKD, 3.3 percent of those taking folic acid saw the condition progress compared to 6.8 percent for enalapril alone.

The greatest folic acid benefit appeared in those who started the study with mild to moderate CKD, where chances of the condition progressing were reduced by 56 and 44 percent, respectively.

Reference: JAMA Internal Medicine; 2016, Vol. 176, No. 10, 1443-50

Vitamins and minerals

A Mediterranean-type diet contains health-protecting nutrients and antioxidants. In this study, doctors measured the diets of 1,692 people, average age 43, all of whom began the study without kidney disease.

After 3.6 years of follow-up, those who consumed the most vitamin B12, vitamins C, D, or E, magnesium, or potassium individually, were 43 to 62 percent less likely to have developed chronic kidney disease (CKD) compared to those who consumed the least of these nutrients. Those who consumed good amounts of all these nutrients combined saw 50 to 60 percent lower chances of developing CKD.

Doctors did not find any other nutrients delayed progress of the condition, but higher levels of sodium increased chances for CKD.

Reference: Nutrients; 2016, Vol. 8, No. 4, 217

Vitamin E reduces kidney disease

Oxidative stress plays a large role in developing and advancing diabetic kidney disease (DKD), a common complication in type 2 diabetes. Doctors wanted to know which antioxidants might slow DKD, and analyzed results from 15 relevant studies covering 4,345 DKD participants that looked at vitamins B6, C, and E, glutathione, lipoic acid, silymarin, and zinc, alone or in combination.

Overall, antioxidants reduced albuminuria; when the kidneys excrete excess levels of the protein albumin in the urine, an early sign of DKD. Vitamin E in particular was most likely to reduce early kidney damage, with those taking 480 mg to 1,200 mg of vitamin E per day having the best results.

Reference: Complementary Therapies in Medicine; August, 2017, Vol. 33, 1-5, Published Online

Article copyright 2018 by Natural Insights for WellBeing. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your health care provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medication, even over-the-counter meds. For example, the vitamins, minerals, and herbs mentioned in this article also thin blood.  Lipoic acid may be contraindicated for those who take prescription thyroid medications.