Diabetic nephropathy natural and alternative treatment using dietary supplements, herbal products and vitamin therapy by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
June 18 2015

Damage to kidney function in those with diabetes for many years and decades leads to a condition known as diabetic nephropathy and is associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased renal nitric oxide availability. Antioxidant supplements may perhaps be helpful in reducing the kidney damage.

Diabetic nephropathy treatment with natural supplements
Investigations in the natural treatment of this condition are still relatively new, but here is some interesting information. But before you begin with these supplements, make sure you are also doing your best to treat your diabetes naturally.

Carnosine could helpful at a dose of 50 to 100 mg a day long term.
Alpha lipoic acid could be helpful as an antioxidant at a dose of 10 to 50 mg a few times a week.
Astaxanthin administration might be a novel approach for the prevention of diabetic nephropathy.
Astragalus may be helpful in diabetic nephropathy. See astragalus extract for more research information.
Schizandra herb has been studied in rodents.
Vitamins C and E could be of help.

Diet and diabetic nephropathy
In type 2 diabetes patients with macroalbuminuria -- excessive urine levels of a protein called albumin -- replacing red meat with chicken in the diet reduces macroalbuminuria, as well as microalbuminuria. Albumin is normally found in the blood, but indicates impaired kidney function when it appears in the urine. See also diabetic neuropathy for natural ways to treat or prevent.

Diabetic Nephropathy research
Carnosine as a protective factor in diabetic nephropathy: association with a leucine repeat of the carnosinase gene CNDP1.
Diabetes. 2005.
The risk of diabetic nephropathy is partially genetically determined. DNA polymorphisms were determined in 135 case (diabetic nephropathy) and 107 control (diabetes without nephropathy) subjects. The effect of carnosine on the production of extracellular matrix components and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) after exposure to 5 and 25 mmol/l d-glucose was studied in cultured human podocytes and mesangial cells, respectively. Carnosine inhibited the increased production of fibronectin and collagen type VI in podocytes and the increased production of TGF-beta in mesangial cells induced by 25 mmol/l glucose. Diabetic patients with the CNDP1 Mannheim variant are less susceptible for nephropathy. Carnosine protects against the adverse effects of high glucose levels on renal cells.

Prevention of diabetic nephropathy by treatment with astaxanthin in diabetic db/db mice.
Biofactors. 2004.
Oxidative stress is implicated as an important mechanism by which diabetes causes nephropathy. Astaxanthin, which is found as a common pigment in algae, fish, and birds, is a carotenoid with significant potential for antioxidative activity. In this study, we examined whether chronic administration of astaxanthin could prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy induced by oxidative stress in mice. The mice were divided into three groups as follows: non-diabetic, diabetic, and diabetic treated with astaxanthin. After 12 weeks of treatment, the astaxanthin -treated group showed a lower level of blood glucose compared with the non-treated db/db group. The results suggested that the antioxidative activity of astaxanthin reduced the oxidative stress on the kidneys and prevented renal cell damage. In conclusion, administration of astaxanthin might be a novel approach for the prevention of diabetes nephropathy.

Protective effects of Astragalus saponin I on early stage of diabetic nephropathy in rats.
J Pharmacol Sci. 2004.
Diabetic nephropathy has become the leading cause of end stage failure, but no renoprotective treatment has been very available for use in DN. Astragalus saponin I, a component extracted from Astragalus membranaceus, was studied in experimental diabetic nephropathy induced by administration of streptozotocin in male rats. The early diabetic nephropathy rats were treated with 3 doses of astragalus for 8 weeks to analyze its efficacy with different parameters. By comparison with vehicle-treated diabetic nephropathy rats, the renal hypertrophy, the oxidative stress intensity, and the blood glucose level of diabetic nephropathy rats were ameliorated by astragalus. Also, the microalbuminuria level, advanced glycated end-products either in serum or in kidney cortex, and the aldose reductase activity were significantly reduced. The results suggest that astragalus has therapeutic effects on several pharmacological targets in the progress of diabetic nephropathy and is a potential drug for prevention of early stage diabetic nephropathy.

Moderate exercise combined with dietary vitamins C and E counteracts oxidative stress in the kidney and lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic-rat.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2005.
Oxidative stress has a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced cataract formation and diabetic nephropathy. Daily moderate exercise and vitamins C and E (VCE) supplementation can be beneficial to diabetes due to reducing blood glucose and free radical production. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of moderate exercise with vitamin VCE on lipid peroxidation (LP) and antioxidative systems in the kidneys and lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Forty female In conclusion, these data demonstrate that lipid peroxidation increases in the lens and kidney of diabetic animals and this could be due to decreases in antioxidant vitamins and enzymes. However, dietary VCE with moderate exercise may strengthen the antioxidant defense system through the reduction of ROS and blood glucose levels. The VCE supplementations with exercise may play a role in preventing the development of diabetic nephropathy and cataract formation in diabetic animals.

Diabetic nephropathy (DN), also known as Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome, is a progressive kidney disease characterized by nephrotic syndrome and diffuse glomerulosclerosis. It affects about 30% of patients with diabetes mellitus and is a prime indication for dialysis in many Western countries