Connect
To Top


Fish Oil for Kidney Protection


It’s estimated that many people over 60 have only 40 percent of kidney function left. Chronic kidney disease, as it’s known, occurs gradually over the course of years. Risk factors include high blood pressure, which has devastating effects on the filtering units of the kidneys; diabetes; obesity; elevated blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides; and smoking. The harm produced by those factors is related to damage of blood vessels in the kidneys or direct damage to the kidneys themselves. Much of it occurs due to a low-grade inflammation localized to the kidneys. Since omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish oil, offer potent anti-inflammatory effects, it stands to reason that fish oil should also protect the kidneys, and that’s precisely what a recent study found.1

The researchers examined the eating habits of 2,600 people over 50. The primary results were that fish oil intake is inversely associated with the prevalence of chronic kidney disease. Just eating a lot of fish lowered the rate of chronic kidney disease by 32 percent. Conversely, taking alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid precursor found in various vegetable sources, including flaxseed oil, increased the likelihood of getting chronic kidney disease by 73 percent. Although the protective effect mechanism of fish oil isn’t precisely established, several theories suggest how it occurs.

The main theory is that fish oil products protect by lowering inflammation in the kidneys. It does that by lowering the production of various inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, and even nitric oxide, which in excess can damage the kidneys. Fish oil also lowers blood pressure, which is the major cause of kidney destruction. By helping to control elevated blood lipids, fish oil offers still another layer of protection for the kidneys. Some studies suggest that it lowers excessive protein excretion through the kidneys, which is a known harbinger of future kidney problems.

As to why alpha-linoleic acid didn’t offer any such protection, the authors note that ALA converts poorly into the more active omega-3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA, in the body. Even worse, consuming large amounts of alpha-linoleic acid may interfere with the metabolism of DHA though a negative-feedback mechanism, which would lower tissue concentrations of DHA. In addition, ALA doesn’t affect the inflammatory mediators as do the preformed omega-3 fats found in fish and fish oil. The study also found that omega-6 fatty acids, as contained in vegetable oils and other sources, have a negative effect on long-term kidney function, since they convert into pro-inflammatory mediators that can damage the kidneys. The good news is that omega-3 fish oil can block the damaging effect of excess omega-6 fats.

 

Editor’s note: Have you been ripped off by supplement makers whose products don’t work as advertised? Want to know the truth about them? Check out Natural Anabolics, available at JerryBrainum.com.

 

1 Gopinath, B., et al. (2011). Consumption of long-chain N-3 PUFA, a-linoleic acid and fish is associated with the prevalence of chronic kidney disease. Br J Nutr. 105:1361-1368.

 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • No Pain = No Muscle Gain

    Delayed onset muscle soreness is an occupational hazard to hard training, especially after some time off from the weights. Bodybuilders and...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 22, 2017
  • Stretch The Truth

    There are better things to do between sets than check your Instagram. Scientists in Brazil discovered that when athletes stretched a...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 22, 2017
  • Take A Tryp

    You probably know of tryptophan as an essential amino acid that is infamously found in turkey. According to your uncle, it’s...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 21, 2017
  • Vitamin D-Mand

    The reasons to take vitamin D just keep adding up. Not only are most Americans deficient in this important nutrient (which...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 21, 2017
  • Just Your Cup Of Tea

    A mug of coffee or green tea might be the next big thing when it comes to post-workout beverages. A study...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 20, 2017
  • Skipping Workouts

    How many times can you play hooky from the gym and not lose your gains? It’s a question that comes up...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 20, 2017
  • Upper Chest Quest

    Many people have said it: You can’t do too much upper-chest work. It’s an area of the body that can almost...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 19, 2017
  • Fat-Eating Bugs

    A study published in the International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition examined the role of probiotics, the good bacteria that...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 18, 2017
  • Lean And Green

    Chlorophyll is a name of green pigments that are found in leafy green plants such as spinach, wheatgrass, and forms of...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 18, 2017