How to protect the kidneys from free radical damage? In fact, overweight, hypertension, insulin resistance and diabetes, all conditions unfortunately on the rise in our society, can alter the function of the kidneys by increasing the amount of free radicals. These substances, in fact, damage the structure of cells, cause inflammation and dysfunction in the tissues. However, in addition to counteracting overweight and hyperglycemia with a healthy diet and moderate physical activity, we also have valuable allies from the world of plants, capable of counteracting free radical damage and protecting kidney function. We are talking about the hibiscus. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Molecules by a Mexican team (Rodriguez Fierros et al, Molecules, 2021).
The experiment, the effects of hibiscus on the kidneys
Hibiscus, scientific name Hibiscus sabdariffa, is a well-known plant from which, by infusion, a highly appreciated drink studied by science is obtained, the hibiscus tea. Hibiscus contains precious polyphenols, anthocyanins, epigallocatechins and resveratrol and, thanks to previous studies, it is known that the hibiscus infusion is able to decrease blood pressure and the amount of free radicals in the heart and liver even in the presence of metabolic syndrome. The latter is an association of three or more conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Therefore, the researchers wondered if hibiscus could also help protect the kidneys. To understand this, scientists studied the effects of a hibiscus tea on indicators of kidney health in the presence of metabolic syndrome.
Hibiscus improves kidney function
What emerged is that the hibiscus infusion was able to reverse the process of deterioration of kidney function by counteracting free radicals. In fact, the drink increased glomerular filtration rate, which is a measure of kidney function by evaluating how quickly the blood is filtered and cleaned by the kidneys.
How hibiscus is prepared
In the experiment, the scientists used a hibiscus-based drink prepared as follows. A liter of water was brought to a boil. Once it boiled, the researchers removed the water from the heat and melted twenty grams of dried hibiscus flowers for ten minutes. The drink was then filtered.