Article at a glance:
- The kidneys are crucial in filtering waste in our bodies.
- Kidney damage is an irreversible disorder that greatly affects many other parts of the body.
- Thanks to its many nutrients and antioxidant properties, you can take spirulina for kidneys as it can help your renal system stay healthy.
Is spirulina good for your kidneys? Some of this popular superfood’s many positive effects include its benefits for your kidneys.
Regarding bodily functions, your kidneys have one of the most critical roles as they filter your blood and separate the substances it doesn’t need. As such, to ensure that our overall health is supported, we also need to ensure our kidneys function properly.
Fortunately, spirulina supports kidney health and helps with kidney diseases. It has a lot of nutrients that potentially have protective effects on your kidneys’ health, among others.
Want to learn more about spirulina’s benefits for your kidney? Read on to discover how spirulina can help your kidneys.
What Are the Kidneys?
Some of the byproducts of normal bodily functions can be harmful if retained in the bloodstream. As such, they must get filtered out and released via urine. That’s what kidneys are for. The kidneys are organs responsible for filtering out waste from our blood. They are bean-shaped, as big as our fists, and usually found just under the rib cage.
When your kidneys are healthy, they can filter an estimated half a cup’s worth of blood per minute. Filtration involves removing waste from the blood and excess water to create urine.
Urine then goes from the kidney via tubes called ureters and travels to the bladder, where it is stored. When the bladder is full, you urinate and release the urine via the urethra. All of these organs are part of your urinary system.
Why are the kidneys important?
As mentioned, this organ helps filter waste and excess water from your bloodstream, but that’s not its only purpose.
Here are the other roles that kidneys play:
- Help maintain the balance of fluids, nutrients, and salts in the bloodstream
- Assist in removing medication from our body
- Help release hormones that may help regulate blood pressure
- Create vitamin D
- Help control red blood cell production.
What Are the Common Kidney Issues?
There are several common kidney issues and diseases that affect how the kidneys function. These conditions vary in severity; some may lead to kidney failure if not properly managed. Here are some of the common kidney problems:
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): CKD is a long-term condition where the kidneys does not work the way it should over time. It can be caused by conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and glomerulonephritis. CKD has different stages, with the final stage being kidney failure.
- Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): AKI, also known as acute renal failure, is a sudden and often reversible loss of kidney function. It can result from various factors, including severe infections, dehydration, medication side effects, or kidney damage due to trauma.
- Kidney Stones: Kidney stones comprise tiny crystals like minerals and salts that form when the body does not produce enough urine. They can cause intense pain and may block urine flow, leading to infection or kidney damage.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs can affect the kidneys when bacteria travel up the urinary tract. Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) can be severe and lead to kidney damage if not treated promptly.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): PKD is when cysts filled with fluid form in the kidneys, causing them to enlarge and lose function gradually. It can lead to kidney failure. This is a genetic condition.
- Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis happens when the tiny filers or glomeruli in the kidney become inflamed. It can be acute or chronic and may result from infections, autoimmune diseases, or other underlying conditions.
- Nephrotic Syndrome: Nephrotic syndrome happens when protein leaks into the urine. This is due to the damaged glomeruli. Various underlying diseases can cause it.
- Hydronephrosis: Hydronephrosis occurs when the kidney becomes swollen or enlarged due to a buildup of urine when the urinary tract is obstructed.
- Renal Artery Stenosis: This condition involves narrowing one or both renal arteries, often due to atherosclerosis. There is reduced blood flow to the kidneys, potentially causing hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Renal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of kidney cancer. It usually begins as a tumor in the lining of the kidney’s small tubes (tubules).
- Interstitial Nephritis: This happens when the kidney’s interstitial tissue is inflamed, often caused by medications, infections, or autoimmune diseases.
It’s important to note that early detection and proper management of kidney issues are crucial to preserving kidney function. Early intervention and lifestyle modifications can help prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.
Spirulina (spirulina platensis) is a superfood that is a form of blue-green algae found growing in freshwater and saltwater. Spirulina is usually used as a supplement because it is a rich source of nutrients. it offers many health benefits that you may reap through regular consumption. It has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other amazing nutrients that can help support our body’s overall health.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, here are just some nutrients a tablespoon of spirulina contains.
- Calcium: 8.4 mg
- Copper: 0.427 mg
- Iron: 2 mg
- Magnesium: 13.6 mg
- Niacin: 6% of daily recommended value
- Essential Fatty Acids: around 1 g
- Phosphorus: 8.26 mg
- Potassium: 95.2 mg
- Protein: 4 g
- Riboflavin: 20% of daily recommended value
- Thiamin: 14% of daily recommended value
Spirulina Benefits for Kidney Health
Is spirulina safe for kidneys? Yes, it is, and if you want to know how this superfood can help boost kidney health, here’s how:
1. Spirulina for Kidney Disease
Is spirulina safe for CKD patients?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most common types of renal dysfunction many people face. If left uncontrolled, it may lead to kidney damage, lowering the organ’s function through time.
Unfortunately, kidney function can’t be restored, so any damage to this organ permanently affects how well it works. If your kidneys can’t filter your blood due to chronic kidney disease, waste will build up, causing a long list of adverse health effects throughout your body.
Luckily, there is a positive connection between spirulina and kidney disease protection. Studies have found that spirulina may have a protective effect on your kidneys. It has anti-inflammatory effects, and it helps mitigate injuries to your kidneys. An animal study published in 2008 showed spirulina’s promise regarding how well it can protect the kidneys from injury.
Can I take spirulina for kidney failure protection?
Other studies related to the matter suggest that the C-phycocyanin content of spirulina, which gives it its signature blue-green color, helps protect it from oxidative damage to your kidney, thanks to the said substance’s antioxidant status.
Given its renoprotective effect, spirulina has shown promise in slowing the progression of many chronic degenerative diseases affecting the kidneys.
Is spirulina good for high creatinine? Can spirulina lower creatinine?
Spirulina has the potential to protect your kidneys from injury and damage. In this way, spirulina also helps reduce your creatinine levels, as having better kidney function means your kidneys can better filter out creatinine and uric acid from your blood.
2. Spirulina for High Blood Pressure Affecting Kidney Health
Is spirulina good for kidney problems?
The multiple systems in our bodies are interconnected. While it’s not part of the circulatory system, problems with high blood pressure can affect our kidneys. In turn, kidney damage also affects how a person is at risk of cardiovascular complications.
Hypertension can significantly affect your kidney health. When blood is filtered, it needs to pass through the kidneys. When a person has high blood pressure, this may put too much stress on the tiny, delicate nephrons inside your kidneys, causing irreparable damage.
One of spirulina’s many well-known benefits is that it helps lower blood pressure by increasing the nitric oxide production in our bodies, helping ensure your arteries don’t become stiff. Studies have also shown its effects on lowering the systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels of people already suffering from hypertension.
3. Spirulina for Diabetes Affecting Kidney Health
Juvenile diabetes (diabetes in kids) and diabetes mellitus can affect kidney health. If your high blood sugar remains unchecked and uncontrolled for a long time, it may cause damage to the nephrons in your kidneys. This leads to kidney injury, which can reduce kidney function over time.
Fortunately, spirulina helps control blood glucose levels. If you experience insulin resistance or even diabetes, spirulina is one good supplement to try.
Based on several studies, spirulina may help in blood glucose management. As per a 2018 research review, spirulina managed to help significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
Meanwhile, another study observed 25 participants who are type 2 diabetes patients, and it has found that supplementing with spirulina may help improve the symptoms of the condition.
4. Spirulina for Kidney Detox
Does spirulina detox kidneys?
A well-known beneficial effect of spirulina on the body is its role in helping remove toxins inside the body. In particular, spirulina works well in binding to heavy metals in your body, including the kidneys, to help eliminate them.
A 2020 study review mentioned that five different trials have pointed out spirulina’s effectiveness in helping alleviate heavy metal toxicity, mentioning that it can help reduce toxicity from arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Take to Lower My Creatinine Level Quickly?
If you want to lower your creatinine levels, eating foods rich in fiber works well. This study 2014 (mentioned above) observed that dietary fiber can greatly help protect your kidneys from chronic kidney diseases, helping your kidneys filter creatinine from your blood better.
Is Spirulina Hard on the Kidneys?
Spirulina is a supplement that’s generally safe to intake. It typically doesn’t have side effects that are too detrimental to one’s health. As such, when taking the recommended and maximum daily doses, you don’t have to worry about spirulina causing renal damage.
Is Spirulina Good for Kidney Stones?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many studies about taking spirulina for kidney stones. Some also say that spirulina may harm people already prone to getting kidney stones because the superfood contains nucleic acids. Spirulina is an oxalate-free food, which helps avoid the formation of kidney stones.
If you want to take spirulina and want to make sure you are not at risk of developing kidney stones, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the correct dose to take that is safest and most beneficial for your condition.
Taking Spirulina for Healthy Kidneys
The kidneys are organs many of us take for granted, but damaging them has some of the most detrimental effects on our bodies. Taking care of them is key to having fantastic overall health.
Fortunately, superfoods like spirulina have many beneficial effects that can support our kidneys. When taken in small doses within the permissible range, you can reap the benefits of spirulina safely for your entire body.
Ready to help keep your kidneys healthy? Add spirulina to your diet and see the many health benefits it may give you.