Many women hate the discomfort and inconvenience caused by their menstruation periods. However, a new study finds that a woman's menstrual cycle might actually be helping in protecting her kidneys.
The new study shows that the increased levels of estrogen due to menstrual cycle may help prevent kidney failure. "This result suggests that cyclical changes of female hormones might affect renal cell homeostasis, potentially providing women with an increased resistance against kidney damages," lead study author Dr. Judith Lechner told Medical Daily.
The researchers got an idea about the effects of menstrual cycles on kidney function based on previous studies on mice and rats. Those studies have shown that male mice and rats have higher rate of renal or kidney damage compared to females.
Apparently, the key factor lies in the estrogen. Although it can also be found in men, it doesn't seem to have much of an impact as compared to women.
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The research team sought to find out if this theory is true by recruiting 11 ovulating women, six post-menopausal women and eight men. The findings show that the ovulating women -- who have significantly higher levels of estrogen in their bodies -- had fewer amounts of enzymes that are released during kidney damage compared to the post-menopausal women and men who participated in the study.
However, there is still no definitive proof that the estrogen increase due to menstrual cycle is directly protecting a woman's kidneys. It is possible that the reason why the post-menopausal women have more damaged kidney cells compared to the ovulating women is due to their more advanced age and not on their estrogen levels, Dr. Marie Csete told Medical Daily.
Fortunately, there are other ways to protect the kidneys. These include eating lots of fruits, vegetables and fish and eating less meat and salt, according to Everyday Health.
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