Now that saturated fat has gotten a pardon, mainstream nutrition “experts” are desperately searching for another reason to scare you away from eggs, red meat, and cheese. [Link to https://drpescatore.com/a-big-fat-myth-busted] Which explains the recent study warning that these dietary staples may be destroying your kidneys. But, as usual, there’s more to it than the headlines let on.
In this new study, researchers linked a gut metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) to chronic kidney disease. TMAO is formed during the digestion of choline and carnitine, which are nutrients in eggs, red meat, and dairy. The researchers measured fasting TMAO levels in patients with and without chronic kidney disease, and found levels were higher in those with kidney disease.
So now, of course, they’re running with this and are on the warpath against your steak dinner.
But I think they missed the forest for the trees in a couple of important ways. So let me set the record straight.
First of all, the production of TMAO is dependent on certain bacteria in the gut. So, rather than eliminating nutritious sources of protein from your diet, wouldn’t it make more sense to start by keeping your gut bacteria balanced and healthy? That way your gut is better equipped to combat any unwelcome metabolites. And it couldn’t be simpler to achieve. All it takes is a good quality probiotic supplement with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria every day.
Second, what these researchers should be warning people about is the true culprit that goes hand-in-hand with chronic kidney disease: diabetes.
I’ve mentioned this one before (in the August 2012 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter, which subscribers can download and view for free by logging in to my website), but it bears repeating: Back in June 2012, researchers released some shocking data on kidney disease in diabetics. They studied 9,307 patients with diabetes. And more than 5,000 of them had chronic kidney disease. Even more frightening? Only 607 had been diagnosed!
The researchers also found that 47 percent of doctors had never diagnosed their patients with kidney disease.
In another study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed data on 109,285 people who had taken part in the National Kidney Foundation’s Early Evaluation Program. Of these people, 26 percent were found to have chronic kidney disease…yet only 9 percent were aware of the problem.
With these scary statistics in mind, I’ve made it a huge goal to promote kidney health in all my patients. The key to it is to control your blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes cause damage to the tiny blood vessels that deliver blood to the kidneys
So the first step towards protecting your kidneys is kicking sugar, starch, and refined carbs to the curb and getting started on my New Hamptons Health Miracle. Think fresh veggies, grilled salmon, juicy berries, creamy avocado, and, yes, steak, eggs, and cheese. (Again, a healthy gut microbiome should be able to offset any potentially harmful metabolites produced when you digest these foods.)
There are also some supplements that can help keep your kidneys in good shape by supporting the tiny blood vessels that feed them: diosmin (250 mg per day), hesperidin (25 mg per day), turmeric (250 mg per day), Tienchi ginseng (100 mg per day), and CoQ10 (300 mg per day).
These safe, simple strategies will keep your kidneys—and your whole body—healthy, without giving up that juicy burger or gooey cheese omelet.
“Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease.” Circulation Research, 2014; 116 (3): 448