Do you always have the urge to pass urine first thing in the morning, even before you think of brushing your teeth? That is because your kidneys have sedulously performed their life-sustaining jobs of removing waste products from your body to generate urine even when you are well asleep.

They work 24 hours to filter about 200 quarts of fluid and produce around 2 quarts of waste. This makes them extremely vulnerable to damage and oxidative stress. Other than removing waste, they also regulate the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure, produce an active form of vitamin D for strong bones and control the production of red blood cells. These critical functions are enough to emphasize the importance of keeping your kidneys healthy.

How’s your kidney health?

Kidney disease is prone to occur especially when you have diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of any kidney problems or have been taking medicines such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for a long period of time. Some kidney problems known as acute renal failure (ARF) happen suddenly when it is met with trauma or injury such as loss of blood.

However, most kidney problems happen gradually, without any symptoms in the early stage and result in chronic renal failure. Patients with complete kidney failure will have to undergo dialysis or transplantation to stay alive.

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There are some ‘super foods’ that have been included in renal diets to combat against free radical and oxidative stress. Foods like cherries, cranberries, apples, red bell peppers, cabbage, olive oil, java tea, onions and garlic helps to promote kidney health.

By and large, people with reduced kidney functions will cut down on their cholesterol, sugar, sodium and potassium intakes. Patients with higher cholesterol levels are more likely to get kidney problems.

This is because too much unused sugar in the blood in diabetic patients causes damage to the nephrons (filtering units in the kidneys) and having high blood pressure leads to damage of the small blood vessels in your kidneys. Therefore, lowering your sugar, sodium and potassium in your diet would definitely do your kidney a favor.

Protein, another common concern, is advised to take in moderation because it will be needed to fight infection and repair muscles.

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How to protect your kidneys?

If you want to look into doing more to protect your kidneys, Life Extension has identified a few well-grounded products:

  1. Life Extension Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support 50 mg/100mg: CoQ10 is a nutrient that helps increase the production of powerful kidney-protective antioxidants which quenches damaging free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Many drugs including NSAIDS, antibiotics and acetaminophen could strain the kidney and cause irreversible damage. Research shows CoQ10’s ability to protect the kidney against damage from various drugs.
  2. Life Extension Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate Caps 100 mg. In diabetes or when blood sugar levels are constantly high, the sugar (glucose) can react with proteins and lipids causing the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs have shown to enhance oxidative stress, decrease kidney functions as well as worsening many degenerative diseases. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate has shown to inhibit the formation of AGEs and work as coenzyme in chemical reactions to support kidney health.
  3. Life Extension Resveratrol with Pterostilbene 100mg. Due to Resveratrol antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, it is able to preserve the kidney structure and function during times of ischemia (inadequate blood supply) and reduced kidney injury from bacterial infection. Pterostilbene works synergistically with Resveratrol to improve kidney mitochondria function and promote rapid healing of injured kidney tissues.
  4. Life Extension Taurine 1000 mg. Taurine, a free amino acid, is one of the most essential substances in the body. In extra amounts in supplement form, Taurine proves beneficial for Type 2 diabetes by preventing the destruction of kidney cells caused by high blood sugars. A Japan research also show Taurine to prevent kidney damage caused by excess salt in the diet. The antioxidant action mediated by this amino acid surely brings about boundless kidney-protective effects.

Many conditions, diseases and medicines can lead to acute or chronic kidney disease. There may be little to no symptoms during the gradual damage of the kidneys. Thus, having a nutrition therapy to take care of our kidneys is important.

Alessia Tan

Alessia is a compassionate individual who realised her dream of becoming a Nutritionist ever since secondary school. She worked in Singapore General Hospital supervising patients' therapeutic diet previously and is now in a Health Supplement company as a Nutritionist.

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