Kidney disease cases are continuously rising. Some blame it on lack of nutrition, while some claim it’s because of too much protein and amino acids. The issue with amino acids and kidney disease is still not clear but at some point, medical experts were able to make known facts.
The kidney plays various important roles for the body which includes the concentration of plasma as well as the metabolism of amino acids. In order for our kidney to perform its responsibilities well, it needs a good amount of amino acids on a daily basis.
There are various ways where an individual can get amino acids. Aside from supplementation, diet is one of the most used ways of getting amino acid content. The famous protein diet is usually everyone’s choice. Aside from the benefits they get from protein in terms of muscle building, they also use this diet to achieve the required percentage of amino acid in a day. However, this Western diet has been said to be one of the culprits behind the development of chronic diseases. The said effect of protein in the involvement of chronic diseases is still being studied until now but some researchers claim that protein derived from the diet contributes to the increase of renal plasma flow, hyperfiltration, and acid load.
According to research, our kidney needs to have a decent amount of amino acids per day. Having said, the good supply of amino acid could help our kidney maintain its physiology and integrity. This also allows the kidney to maintain acid-base homeostasis. Furthermore, it is also the kidney’s duty to keep track of the synthesis, degradation, and release of amino acids.
Experts said that almost 70 grams of amino acids are being filtered by the kidney from amino acids contents derived from the food that the body consumes, supplementations, liver metabolism, muscles, and from other tissues. It is even believed that 97% of the said amino acids are actively reabsorbed in the proximal tubules.
Now the physiological effects that we mentioned above would take place once the amino acids reach and enter the kidney. The vital effects would solely depend on the kind of supplementation or the quantity and the quality of the absorbed amino acid.
Even though the relation of protein/amino acids and kidney diseases are still not completely understood, let’s still try to look at the various process involving the effects of amino acids with the kidney.
Amino Acids and Haemodynamics
Haemodynamics deals with the processing of blood flow in the cardiovascular system. Having said, homeostatic mechanisms are being controlled by control systems which include the kidney.
Incorporating a lot of foods that contain a high amount of protein in one’s diet could lead to an increase of renal haemodynamics. It is even explained by experts that renal plasma flow and Glomerular filtration are also both increased with the infusion of amino acids particularly by arginine hydrochloride, glycine, and glutamic. In a review done by Renal Research, an experiment done in a rat’s kidney resulted to the discovery of the direct effect of amino acids on the said organ.
Amino Acids and Proteolysis
Scientifically speaking, Proteolysis is the breakdown of proteins into small amino acids or what experts would call, polypeptides.
Some amino acids such as lysine, leucine, and phenylalanine when in infused with insulin, spark some effects on some cells which are developed from proximal tubular epithelium – a process done in the proximal tubule of the kidney where reabsorption takes place. If one does a protein-free diet, it will take the kidney 7 days before it can produce and replace lost amino acids due to protein deficit. This is also essential for gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, in order for the kidney to regulate well and maintain its integrity, it needs a right amount of amino acid at a fairly regular basis.
Amino Acids, Plasma, and Renal Failure
It has already been clear for years already that nutrition plays a role in kidney metabolism from plasma amino acids found on patients with chronic renal failure. What the researchers found out is that renal failure took place because there has been an imbalance on both protein and amino acids in some patients. They were able to detect that patients who had severe cases of renal failure had very high non-essential amino acid consumption and low essential aminos which includes tyrosine and arginine.
The role of amino acids in the body has been highlighted since then. This is because amino acids fuel up not just the muscles, but they also play specific roles on the body’s metabolism. However, studies also claim that too much of the good thing could cause a negative effect most especially to the organ which is responsible for filtration – the kidney. In order to prevent kidney diseases from taking place, it is important that an individual gets informed and educated about the right amount and which kinds of amino acids are to be consumed.