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Save Your Kidneys! Prevention is the Key!

More than 15% of the US population is currently greater than 65 years old. As populations age there is a coinciding increase in age-related chronic diseases. According to the 2022 National Kidney foundation “Only 1 in 10 people with chronic kidney disease have been diagnosed.”

Over 50 percent of people currently age 30-49 could develop Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in their lifetime. CDK is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States and causes about 47,000 deaths a year. It kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.

CKD is known as a silent killer because most people do not realize they have it until the disease is well advanced. More than 450,000 Americans are currently on dialysis because of kidney disease and 12 people every day die waiting for a kidney transplant.

Free Radicals are natural by-products of ongoing biochemical reactions in the body, and elevated levels are implicated in CDK. The kidney is a highly energetic organ, which makes it more vulnerable to damage caused by oxidative stress from free radicals.

When there are more free radicals present than can be kept in balance by antioxidants, the free radicals can start doing damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. When free radicals oxidize important components of a cell, those components lose their ability to function normally, and the accumulation of such damage may cause the cell to die. This damage can lead to a vast number of diseases over time, including, diabetes, atherosclerosis, inflammation, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and overall aging.

A 2018 study published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry states, “Accelerated atherosclerosis in chronic kidney disease is preceded by endothelial dysfunction, which exhibits a proinflammatory and prothrombotic phenotype and enhanced oxidative stress.” 

Published in 2020 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity,Free radicals and prooxidants produced during acute or chronic kidney injury may further aggravate the course of the disease and play a role in the pathogenesis of subsequent complications. Oxidative stress damages renal tissue and promotes inflammation leading to further tissue injury with accumulation of impaired biomacromolecules.”

The June 2021 issue of Kidney Research and Clinical Practice shows kidney diseases with cellular oxidative stress induces apoptosis and senescence, reduced regenerative capability of cells, and fibrosis in the kidney cells. “Oxidative stress leads to accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, podocyte damage, mesangial expansion, renal hypertrophy, endothelial dysfunction, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and glomerulosclerosis. Thus, oxidative stress further contributes to deterioration of renal function and disease progression. Based on the strong correlation between oxidative stress and CKD, reversal of oxidative stress is being explored as a major therapeutic option. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors, dietary antioxidants, and other agents that scavenge free radicals are gaining interest as treatment modalities in CKD patients.”

Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals and inhibit oxidation. According to the National Institutes of Health antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay some types of cell damage. This makes certain antioxidants particularly important in the prevention and treatment of CKD.

Glutathione is one of the body’s most important and potent antioxidants. It is considered a super antioxidant that’s made in the body’s cells and is responsible for protecting the cells in our body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Its levels decrease because of aging, stress, and toxin exposure. Therefore, for people suffering from kidney disease, having enough glutathione is crucial, as it can play a protective role in preventing further damage to the cells of the kidneys caused by free radicals. 

Published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplant (2004) Restoring Glutathione as a Therapeutic Strategy in Chronic Kidney Disease, researchers stated, “The reality of oxidative stress, defined as a rupture between pro-oxidant and antioxidant systems, has been established in chronic renal insufficiency patients. To date, it is considered a major player in uraemia-associated morbidity and mortality. The general conclusion that the uraemic state is associated with low circulating levels of GSH and a decreased activity of GSH-Px, which both worsen with the progression of renal failure, and that these deficiencies are aggravated in dialysis patients.”

Studies have also shown that people suffering from dialysis have lower levels of glutathione in their blood, which puts the kidney cells at risk from oxidative damage. Consequences of oxidative stress in CKD patients include atherosclerosis, amyloidosis, and anemia.

The question is how to elevate endogenous glutathione levels in the body effectively. 

Taking glutathione as a supplement has unfortunately been proven to be not effective. One study gave healthy people 500 milligrams twice a day for a month, however due to the digestive process they were unable to raise the glutathione level in the blood.

In 1995, award-winning microbiologist Marika Mikelsaar, MD, PhD and her team of research scientists at the University of Tartu, Estonia isolated this distinctive probiotic strain. ME-3 is considered by scientists as a “complete glutathione system” due to its ability to produce glutathione in the human body via three different mechanisms. The unique strain ME-3 is proven to stimulate glutathione production naturally in the human body and works as a glutathione-activating agent via three different mechanisms.

RegActiv – ESSENTIAL ME-3 : Essential ME-3® (Essential Formulas) provides in one single capsule more than 8 billion micro-encapsulated bacteria. Essential ME-3® can be taken for a short treatment course as well as for long periods of time. Ingredients: maltodextrine, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3®, magnesium salts of fatty acids (anti-caking agent). Vegetable capsule (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose).

Directions: Take 1 capsule daily, 30 minutes before a meal is best, however it can be taken with a meal as well, or as directed by a health care professional. For optimal effects, maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Consult your primary health care provider before using this product. For optimal digestive health, pair this product with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® Original Formula.

For more information about Reg’Activ Essential ME-3 go to

Keep in mind CDK is a complicated disease and many factors contribute to successful treatment.

Individuals with CKD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, in part because arterial calcification increases as kidney function declines. Vitamin K2 is a nutrient lacking among older adults which can increase the potential for arterial calcification. 2021 research shows “Most CKD patients, including those on renal replacement therapy, have vitamin K2 deficiency.”

Many individuals who are involved in sports and or as they get older and develop chronic pain and often take pain relievers on a daily basis. “NSAIDs” (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve) and celecoxib (Celebrex) have been linked to increase of kidney disease.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most commonly prescribed class of medication for the treatment of heartburn and acid-related disorders and numerous studies show they can significantly increase the risk chronic kidney disease. According to a study published in the February 2016 Journal American Medical Association Internal Medicine PPI use is associated with a 20%–50% higher risk of incident CKD.

Changing your diet helps to keep the kidneys from working too hard. Typically decreasing sugars, sodium, protein, potassium, and phosphate. When your kidneys are damaged, it’s harder for them to get particular nutrients out of your blood, thus increasing the levels in the bloodstream to potential toxic levels. 

There are several tests your physician can order which are helpful in monitoring existing kidney disease; however, they are not sensitive enough to catch the disease in its early stages or to predict early a person’s risk of developing the disease later on in life.

As always it is best to treat any serious health problem through an appointment with your Holistic Practitioner. Chronic Kidney Disease is a serious health concern and there are numerous considerations including health history, medications and medical treatments that need to be taken into consideration before making any recommendations.

Taking care of your kidneys is important. At the Tree of Life Wellness Center we have helped numerous patients with CKD, including patients already on dialysis through healthful dietary changes and supplementation. For more information or to schedule either an in-office or telephone appointment call 508-336-4242. 

Jane Jansen   Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center  

Host Holistic Healthline Radio