TECH

An Anti-Ageing Hormone Could Unlock Treatments For Kidney And Heart Disease

13/02/2017 11:48 GMT

Despite the seeming inevitability of ageing, humans actually contain many of the tools that allow us to live longer.

One of these tools is an anti-ageing hormone called Klotho.

Now researchers at Kings College London have discovered that a deficiency in this hormone is one of the key markers for early stage kidney disease.

Kidney disease is particularly prevalent in diabetes patients leading to the suggestion that by measuring the levels of Klotho in the body doctors will be able to actually prevent kidney disease in diabetes patients before it even happens.

Hero Images via Getty Images

First author of the study, Dr Giuseppe Maltese, from the Cardiovascular Division at King’s College London said: ‘For the first time, Klotho has been linked to kidney disease in type 1 diabetes patients and this finding represents an exciting step towards developing new markers for disease and potentially new treatments.’

Another rather wonderful side-effect of Klotho is that it works as a powerful protector of the vascular system by fighting against the abnormalities that can occur with age.

One of the most common abnormalities is the thickening of the artery walls, a process known as atherosclerosis.

Dr Richard Siow, a co-author of the study, recently published research which showed the protective effects of Klotho in cardiovascular cells said: “Our research will help scientists to better understand the mechanisms by which this hormone benefits healthy ageing, as well as how deficits in Klotho lead to age related diseases.

“We are conducting further research on the role of Klotho in ageing and longevity as part of ARK (Ageing Research at King’s) research initiatives.”

This is early days though as the study itself had a particularly small sample size (just 78 patients) and so cannot definitively show a casual relationship between Klotho and the development of kidney disease.

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