A deficiency of the anti-aging hormone klotho has been found in patients with diabetes who are also suffering from early stage kidney disease—a discovery that may lead to the development of new treatments. This hormone has previously been linked to the protection of the vascular system and has been found to help prevent abnormal symptoms of aging, such as atherosclerosis—the thickening of the artery walls. Atherosclerosis is characteristic of many age-related medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, making klotho levels extremely relevant to healthy aging.
This newest study was conducted by King’s College London and tested blood and urine samples gathered from 78 participants with type 1 diabetes. Thirty-three of these participants were also showing signs of early stage diabetic kidney disease, also referred to as microalbuminuria. These 33 patients had much lower levels of klotho circulating in their systems, while the remaining participants had levels similar to those seen in healthy adults.
This is the first time that a relationship between Klotho and kidney disease has been established in patients with type 1 diabetes, and researchers hope to eventually use these levels as a diagnostic tool and with further research, enlist klotho in the treatment of kidney disease. Senior author of the study, Dr. Janaka Karalliedde, commented on the potential of these results, “With further research using larger cohorts of patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes we hope to expand the scope of this work and identify at an early stage patients at high risk of progression of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.”
A better understanding of the relationship between klotho and age-related diseases could improve diagnostic and treatment methods and allow for earlier intervention that could potentially slow the progression of or even prevent these diseases from occurring.