By Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Kidneys are vital organs responsible for filtering the body’s blood to remove waste in the form of urine and balance the body’s water levels while trying to maintain electrolytes in the system. This process is a vital part of human life, and many people often think this process is simple, but it is estimated that blood passes through the kidneys approximately 40 times per day.
At this rate, all the blood in your body will filter through the kidneys just under two times each hour as you maintain your lifestyle. It is clear, that the kidneys are important, and optimizing their health should be high on every person’s list.
Obesity increases the risk of kidney disease
Conversely, research suggests that excessive weight gain and obesity are related to increases in kidney (renal) disease and sometimes kidney failure due to lack of blood flow. Diabetic nephropathy can occur when there is too much blood sugar circulating in the blood that damages the kidneys and may result in excessive protein in the urine. While there are many other issues with obesity such as high blood pressure, poor blood flow, and inflammation, these issues among others contribute in some way to obesity-related kidney disease.
Exercise, a healthy diet, and water protect the kidneys
A recent review of the literature regarding kidney damage from obesity assessed possible drug treatments to protect the kidneys in obese patients. The authors concluded that two types of inhibitors and melatonin may be valuable treatments for preventing kidney disease and failure. Collectively, the three different drugs appear to serve as a treatment to stop systemic inflammation and oxidative stress which damages the kidneys over time.
Drugs aside, a healthy diet with very few unhealthy carbohydrates, adequate water intake that does not include sugar additives, and exercise can have a robust effect on obese-related kidney disease.
Wang M, Wang Z, Chen Y, Dong Y. Kidney Damage Caused by Obesity and Its Feasible Treatment Drugs. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022; 23(2):747. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23020747
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