Consuming too much junk food can have the same negative effects on kidneys as those generated by type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Experimental Psychology.
Junk food, or high-fat diets, are known to be harmful to the health if consumed persistently. But, to what extent does it threaten the good functioning of the human body? A new study shows that it might cause similar damage on the kidneys as type 2 diabetes. This would happen as a consequence of elevated blood sugar levels that are similar to those characterising type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the condition whereby an individuals’ body cannot produce the hormone insulin such that sugar accumulates in the blood instead of being taken up into cells. This increase in blood glucose level might ultimately impact on the kidneys which would face decreased efficiency in getting rid of waste products because of the additional pressure of having to pump out the excess sugar from the blood. This is a terrible predicament medical experts are having to deal with. Now, to make matters worse, this effect can be reproduced by the consumption of too much junk food.
The study shows that rats fed with this type of diets (composed of 60% fat) for weeks would have an increase in the number of glucose transporters, GLUT and SGLT. This is comparable to the increase found in rats with type 2 diabetes. These transporters are involved in glucose reabsorption in kidneys whereby the sugar is filtered and reabsorbed into the blood; the problem arises when there is excess sugar in the blood, rendering the process ineffective. The team, therefore, conclude that the study suggests unhealthy diets might be linked with similar risks of kidney damage as those associated with type 2 diabetes.
The results are not all gloomy though. The authors point out that blocking the glucose transporter in the kidney might help reduce the sugar levels in the bloodstream.