Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is naturally found in nuts, berries, and the skin of red grapes, but in low concentrations. Studies have been widely publicized for resveratrol’s cardiovascular, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-aging benefits. Research has also shown significant benefits for cognitive conditions and inflammatory disorders.
In a new review published last Wednesday in Nutrients, researchers reviewed the evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies with resveratrol in kidney disease. Since kidney disease develops over many years, it often is not identified until much later when kidney function is already significantly impaired. Although there are traditional treatments, therapies that target prevention are needed. Approximately 70% of end-stage kidney disease is a result of type II diabetes and hypertension. It is, therefore, essential that practitioners work with these patients to help adjust and correct their lifestyles.
In vitro studies have shown positive effects of resveratrol in diabetic nephropathy. These include a reduction in glucose, insulin, HbA1c, cholesterol, triglycerides, IL-6, creatinine, and BUN levels. Additional positive effects seen encompass a decrease in albuminuria, kidney weight, fibrosis, oxidative damage, and improvements in renal function and glutathione levels.
A randomized, doubled blinded study from 2016 included in this review researched the effect of 150 mg or 450 mg of reseveratrol over a 12-week period in peritoneal dialysis patients. Results showed a significant improvement in mean net ultrafiltration rate and volume. Also, angiogenesis markers, vascular endothelial growth factor, fetal liver kinase-1, and angiopoietin-2 levels were significantly reduced in the 450 mg treatment group. Another study demonstrated no significant effects of 500 mg of reseveratrol in non-dialyzed chronic kidney disease patients; however, based upon the previous study it appears that the duration of treatment is a key factor for beneficial effects to be seen.
Other clinical studies show benefits of resveratrol supplementation in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In diabetic patients, 10 mg of resveratrol per day has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce serum glucose and cholesterol levels. In addition, resveratrol significantly decreases serum creatinine levels and maintains glomerular filtration rate (GFR), suggesting an improvement in kidney function.
These results support the concept that resveratrol supplementation has a protective effect in patients with chronic kidney disease by increasing kidney filtration rates and volume. Additional nutrients that may be considered include fish oil, phosphatidylcholine, tocotrienols, and glutathione.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS