Klotho protein is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that was first discovered in 1997. It is aptly named after the Greek goddess Klotho – one of the three fates – who was believed to be responsible for spinning the thread of life. Since its discovery, significant research has shown that this protein may have the ability to influence longevity, promote kidney and colon health, and reduce the progression of age-related diseases such as dementia. This protein may also slow the progression of diabetes and cancer.
What Is Klotho Protein?
Recent studies reported by Medical News Todayprovide more detailed insights into what these proteins are and what they may mean for health. Given that it is a naturally occurring substance, scientists are hoping to use it to cure some of today’s prevalent diseases. Scientists from Yale believe that their findings will affect how cancer, obesity, and diabetes are treated in the future.
There are two types of klotho proteins: alpha and beta. Both types are receptors, dwelling in the membranes of certain body tissues. Along with endocrine FGF molecules, alpha and beta klotho proteins work to regulate metabolic processes throughout the body. These processes affect brain, liver, and kidney functions. The following are some examples of where klotho research matters the most.
Studies performed on mice have revealed the effect that different levels of klotho have on aging. In regards to mice lifespan and their ability to ward off disease, it has shown that certain mutations of the protein are more beneficial than others. Meanwhile, it has been shown that about 25% of humans have more naturally occurring klotho. Those with klotho excess seem to maintain healthier brain function and critical thinking skills into more advanced ages. The brain of someone with more klotho may be approximately ten years “younger” than individuals of the same age with less of the protein. For this reason, klotho has become a key player in dementia research.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Decreased klotho levels have been proven to be present in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Testing for klotho deficiency may be a way for physicians to detect and treat CKD earlier. In animal research, the addition of klotho protein has shown the ability to repair some types of kidney damage.
Research into the relationship between klotho and cancer is among the most important, as cancer kills over half a million Americans every year. There is evidence of an across-the-board deficiency in klotho in liver cancer patients, meaning that there is a correlation between klotho and liver-related cancer. Additionally, klotho may have more impact on preventing metastasis of tumors in many other cancers, as well as better outcomes with chemo-resistant cancers. Cancer cells that might otherwise prove to be chemo-resistant can therefore, in some cases, be treated more easily when klotho is introduced.
Klotho research continues every day in the areas of dementia, kidney disease, cancer treatment, and all aspects of aging. Research is also under way to determine the impact of klotho on diabetes. Investigate therapy options are being developed further each day in hopes that it will provide an overdue solution to many of today’s largest diseases.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110841/ed0 Grid Table