Resveratrol helps protect kidney function in diabetes

November 22, 2005

Diabetic nephropathy is a common outcome in diabetics. The name refers to kidney disease with increasing levels of protein in the urine and declining kidney function due to long term damage caused by diabetes. Eventually it can lead to kidney failure and end-stage renal disease with patients having 10% or less of kidney function. This results in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant to continue living. Almost half of all new patients entering dialysis are type 2 diabetics (about 10% of all patients with type 2 diabetes wind up with end-stage renal disease). 50% of the patients with type 1 diabetes wind up with end-stage renal disease.

Various studies have shown that an increase in free radical pathology over time is involved in the development of diabetic associated kidney disease. Diabetes was induced in rats by injecting them with streptozotocin for four weeks. At this point the rats were split into 3 groups, healthy rats, rats with diabetes, and rats with diabetes supplemented with Resveratrol from week four until week six. The diabetic rats had a big jump in blood sugar, urine excretion (polyuria), and protein in the urine at four weeks and had kidney dysfunction, with decreased clearance of both creatinine and urea from the blood, with an even greater rise of protein in the urine. The Resveratrol supplemented rats had a significant decrease in kidney damage and a great drop in kidney dysfunction with a decrease in free radical destructive activity in their kidneys. The study is published in the November 11th, 2005 issue of the journal Pharmacology.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Aronia berry polyphenols may protect the kidneys and liver from the heavy metal cadmium

Cadmium is a dangerous heavy metal found in the environment. Cadmium is stored in humans mainly in the liver and kidneys. Cadmiums half-life is ten years so toxicity can be seen years after exposure to it and it tends to last in the kidneys for 20 to 30 years after exposure. Cadmium causes cancer and birth defects. It affects the lungs and causes bone defects.

In this study supplementing with Aronia berry in rats exposed to cadmium resulted in significantly less liver damage with a significant reduction in liver enzymes, significantly decreased elevations in blood urea that would be increased due to kidney dysfunction. The Aronia berry decreased the amount of Cadmium that concentrated in the liver and kidneys of these animals. The study is published in the journal Acta Biochimica Polonica, 2003;50(2).