A new study reveals that high blood levels of klotho, a protein, could aid in preserving the functions of the kidney.
The latest finding is courtesy of a research that has been shared in an impending issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
The study's hypothesis, however, needs to be determined through additional research but it could form the basis of preventing kidney-related ailments, as well as treating the disease.
What Is Klotho?
For the unfamiliar, klotho is a protein which circulates in one's blood stream. The protein is also believed to boast anti-aging abilities. It also has control over multiple cellular and endocrine pathways, though the exact method of action for the soluble klotho is yet to be known.
With high levels of klotho expression, the kidney could be an important source of soluble klotho. It is common to observe low levels of klotho in people suffering from kidney diseases.
Dr. David Drew of Tuffs Medical Center, along with his colleagues, scrutinized the data generated from a study in a bid to assess how klotho could potentially affect kidney functions.
The study observed a varied group of operative adults who had a certain level of soluble klotho serum, as well as "repeated measure" of kidney function after more than a decade of following up.
For the purpose of the study, each of the 2496 participants with two-fold more levels of klotho were linked with a lower chance of kidney decline during follow-up — 15 percent to 20 percent. The study also took into consideration various factors such as demographics, risk of kidney disease, and comorbidities.
The researchers found a link between the decline in kidney functions and low levels of soluble klotho. This was observed independent of several risk factors that can contribute to the decline of kidney functions.
"This suggests that klotho could play a role in the development of chronic kidney disease, although additional research will need to confirm this. This also raises the possibility that klotho could be an important therapeutic target for future clinical trials," shared Dr. Drew.
Chronic kidney disease has been found to be common among 14 percent of the general population. The main reason for this type of kidney disease could be attributed to high blood pressure and diabetes.
It has been observed that about half the patients suffering from kidney diseases have diabetes or self-reported cardiovascular disease.
Every year, kidney diseases kill more people when compared with breast cancer or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney diseases.