Lycopene Protects the Kidney Cell Integrity Against Damage

By Kyle J. Norton

The kidneys are a pair of kidney-shaped organs located on either side of your spine with a function to filter out the wastes from the blood before passing the wastes through urinary secretion.

Besides accompanied by liver and skin to form a detox system in the body,  the kidneys also process significant effects that maintain the body fluid balance, regulate the production of red blood cell and high blood pressure.

Kidney damage can be acute such as an overdose of toxin or chronic. Acute kidney diseases can be cured if the underlying cause is found.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a slow and progressive disease which can lead to kidney failure over time.

 CKD can cause the dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes build up in the body.

According to statistics, approximately 14 percent of the US general population suffer from CKD.  More than 661,000 Americans are living with kidney failure, inclduing 468,000 individuals on dialysis.

People with reduced kidney function do not experience any symptoms until the advanced stage. In other words, kidney disease in the advanced stage can lead to dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and building toxins in the body.

Out of many risk factors associated with CKD, some researchers suggested high blood pressure is one most prevalent factor found in most patients.

In this advanced stage, patients also experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomforts, weakness,
sleep problems, changes of urination, decreased mental sharpness, muscle twitches and cramps and swelling of feet and ankles, particularly the persistent itching.

Some researchers suggested high blood pressure is one of the major causes of CKD.

The Natural Kidney Foundation wrote, “More than half the people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the chance that kidney disease will get worse”

And “Following your treatment plan carefully and keeping your blood pressure under control can help to prevent these complications”.

Lycopene is a phytochemical found in tomato in the class of carotenoid, a natural pigment with no vitamin A activity found abundantly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons, and papayas,

Tomatoes provide about 80% of the lycopene in the world diet. In plants, lycopene protects the host against excessive photodamage and performs various functions in photosynthesis.

On finding a potent ingredient for the protection of kidney damage, researchers examined the effect of lycopene on the nephrotoxicity of deltamethrin.

The study included male albino rats that were divided into four groups with10 animals each: group I served as control, which received standard diet; group II received oral administration of deltamethrin (1.28 mg/kg per day) for 30 days; group III received both deltamethrin and lycopene (1 mg/kg per day); group IV received lycopene (1 mg/kg per day).

According to the results of at the end of the experiment, deltamethrin treated group not only showed significantly increased expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-α but also caused mild necrotic changes of the kidney associated with localized cell death due to interruption of the blood supply.

Renal proximal tubules in the deltamethrin treated group also showed an increased number and irregular shape of mitochondria causing the reduced function of the cell in the kidney to take nutrients from the cell breaks it down and turns it into energy.

Vacuolar degeneration in the epithelial cells, increased number of lysosomes and loss of apical microvilli associated with the reduced function of kidney cells in the absorptive and secretory function, may lead to the decrease of the detoxed function of the kidney.

Moreover, focal segmental thickening and the duplication of the glomerular basement membrane and podocyte changes involved in kidney damage. were also found in the deltamethrin treated group.
Pretreatment of lycopene demonstrated a strong effect either restored the kidney tissue damage or inhibited the parameters that cause the kidney disease.
Based on the findings, researchers said, “Histopathological and ultrastructural study showed some protective effect of lycopene on kidney tissues”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of kidney damage, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of lycopene in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

Sources
(1) Aflatoxin B1 induced renal and cardiac damage in rats: Protective effect of lycopene by Yilmaz S1, Kaya E2, Karaca A2, Karatas O. (PubMed)
(2) Protective effect of lycopene on deltamethrin-induced histological and ultrastructural changes in kidney tissue of rats by El-Gerbed MS. (PubMed)
(3) High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease. What is high blood pressure? the Natural Kidney Foundation. (NIH)