We all know that obesity harms your health. But we don't always have a great grasp on just why it's so harmful. While there are a number of reasons carrying excess weight is dangerous, I'd like to focus on just one today. And it's one of the earliest systems to be affected by obesity.
While we don't spend much time thinking about our kidneys, they are vital to our health. And they are particularly sensitive to obesity. That's because the kidneys are lined with renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs) that help absorb nutrients and flush out substances we don't need. These RPTCs are easily susceptible to lipotoxicity, caused by an over-accumulation of fat or lipids. Lipotoxicity can lead to cell dysfunction and even cell death.
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute for Drug Research in Israel have been examining RPTCs to determine if there's a way to protect them from obesity-induced lipotoxicity. They've found that our brains and our kidneys both have receptors that interact with lipid molecules.
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In mice, when that receptor isn't expressed in the renal cells, they don't experience as much lipid accumulation. This decreases rates of dysfunction, injury, inflammation, and scarring in the kidneys. The researchers believe that manipulating this receptor in renal cells may provide a new way to treat kidney disease in obese patients by slowing the progression of lipotoxicity.
I think this is an interesting idea, but it may be some time until this treatment option is available. And, of course, while it may slow kidney disease's development, it won't stop it altogether. It's far better to avoid the risk of kidney disease in the first place by maintaining a healthy weight.
If you are struggling with obesity, please talk to your doctor to develop a plan to shed the extra pounds. You will improve every aspect of your health by doing so. In the meantime, you can help take some of the stress off of your kidneys by ensuring your liver stays healthy. It also does a lot of important work filtering toxins out of your body. The best way to keep your liver healthy is by, you guessed it, maintaining a healthy weight. But you can also keep it strong and functioning optimally by taking Advanced Liver Support. It will help reduce the inflammation that excess weight can cause and support the body's detoxification processes.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD