Do You Know That Your Gut Health Directly Impacts Your Kidney Health?
New research has exposed a new factor which may impact the health of your kidney. The direct impact of the health of your gut on the health and function of your kidneys. Here are some of the many ways your gut may influence your kidneys:
- Risk of Kidney Stones
80% of kidney stones diagnosed are made from calcium-oxalate. In a healthy gut microbiome, there are bacteria which break down oxalate. A well-known strain to do this is Oxalobacter formigenes.
Two ways you can keep this type of bacteria in your gut is firstly through consuming adequate dietary fibre. An adult needs 25-30g of dietary fibre each day. Including a variety of different plant foods throughout your week gives your body different types of fibre to benefit from. This includes whole grains, or whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices which provide your body with different types of fibre which support the health of your gut and gut microbiome in different ways.
Being obese puts you at greater risk of developing kidney stones. Fibre can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones by helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Fibre causes a gradual release of sugar into your blood stream which creates sustained energy, keeping you fuller for longer and overall reducing your food intake.
Secondly, including probiotic foods two times a day like kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and miso. This will promote a diverse range of good bacteria in your gut which is far more beneficial for your health than one single probiotic strain.
- Sodium Regulation
A diet which is too high in salt leads to a reduction of the type of microbes that promote health of your kidneys. The change in the types of microbes leads to different signals being created which have a negative effect on the health of your kidneys.
Specifically, research has shown a reduction in Firmicutes which promote kidney health and increased levels of Bacteroidetes and Burkholderiales which reduce kidney function. The ability of kidneys to remove excess salt declined with this unbalance of more ‘bad’ bacteria. As a result, the systolic blood pressure or pressure of when your heart contracts increased, and blood pressure also increased.
Take home message: If you are wanting to promote the health of your kidneys make sure you are keeping your gut healthy. Remember the power of plant-based foods like Corn Thins slices which support your kidneys to work at their best.
- Hu, J., Luo, H., Wang, J. et al. Enteric dysbiosis-linked gut barrier disruption triggers early renal injury induced by chronic high salt feeding in mice. Exp Mol Med 49, e370 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/emm.2017.122