Grapefruit naturally prevents formation of kidney cysts

Monday, March 24, 2014 by: Julie Wilson
Tags: grapefruit, kidney cysts, naringenin

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(NaturalNews) Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, have discovered yet another health benefit associated with the bioactive substance naringenin. This naturally occurring compound is a type of flavonoid that is most plentiful in grapefruit but can also be found in tomatoes and oranges.

Naringenin, known for its bitter taste in grapefruit, has been found to successfully prevent the formation of cysts in the kidneys by "regulating the PKD2 protein responsible for the condition," as stated in a report by

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) affects more than half a million people annually in the United States, with cystic disease being the fourth-leading cause of kidney failure. PKD, a genetic disease, is characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys resulting in organ enlargement, which disrupts innate processes and ultimately leads to kidney failure.

This groundbreaking study, which was featured by Science Daily, reveals that releasing naringenin into the body can effectively block the formation of kidney cysts, possibly introducing revolutionary treatment for those affected by kidney failure.

Currently, the only available treatment options for patients suffering from PKD are merely to control symptoms and complications associated with the disease.

Some of these symptoms often include:

  • abdominal pain
  • blood in the urine
  • drowsiness
  • joint pain
  • nail abnormalities
  • excessive urination at night
  • flank pain in one or both sides

PKD is also linked to conditions such as brain aneurysms, cysts in the liver, pancreas and testes, and complications involving the intestines.

Treatment usually involves blood pressure medicines, diuretics and maintaining a low-salt diet. Surgery and dialysis are common treatment methods for end-stage kidney disease.

Naringenin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects help prevent the formation of cysts as well as reduce existing swelling in the kidneys caused by fluid retention. It also significantly decreases oxidative damage to human DNA.

Robin Williams, a professor from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, said, "This discovery is vital in helping us to understand how polycystic kidney disease may be controlled and ultimately treated. Kidney disease is a debilitating condition that can be fatal and finding a treatment is a truly urgent health priority."

Since naringenin is not easily absorbed into the body, patients looking to benefit from this natural compound will most likely need to ingest it in the form of a supplement, or receive it intravenously.

Naringenin is not only effective for treating kidney disease but also beneficial for managing weight and protecting the liver; also, according to one Harvard study, it may help prevent the spread of the hepatitis C virus "by interfering with the secretion of the virus from infected cells."

Researchers believe that utilizing this naturally occurring antioxidant can also be helpful for treating diabetes, arteriosclerosis, hypermetabolism and even cancer.

Scientists suggest that this particular flavonoid can effectively prevent the spread of tumors, which is the main cause of death among cancer patients.

An experiment involving the oral administration of naringenin to mice infected with breast cancer resulted in a significant decrease in the number of metastatic tumors in the lungs, which subsequently increased their lifespan.

While there are many benefits associated with naringenin, it's important to note that the compound can have a negative impact on the body when combined with certain pharmaceutical drugs, resulting in the alteration of their blood levels, according to Andrew Weil, M.D., a specialist on healthy aging through nutrition.

These medications include:

  • statins used for cholesterol control
  • calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure
  • non-sedating antihistamines such as Hismanal (astemizole)
  • anti-anxiety drugs like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Halcion (triazolam), and others
  • immunosuppressive drugs used to prevent rejection of transplanted tissues organs
  • antiviral agents used to treat HIV/AIDS

Despite having to avoid a dangerous cocktail of grapefruit juice and pharmaceutical drugs, which you shouldn't be taking anyway, naringenin has the potential to revolutionize alternative treatment for numerous types of prevalent diseases present in our society today.

The research associated with this antioxidant is expected to expand vastly, providing patients seeking alternative medicine with more treatment options that don't involve the harmful and often deadly effects of chemicals frequently used by western practices.

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