Kidney and Heart Disease

In Chinese medicine, the relationship between the Heart and the Kidneys is very important. The Heart is seen as the principle of Fire, in addition to being the true home of the mind, or consciousness. The Kidneys, on the other hand, are seen as the principle of Water. They also house our primal life force, or Original Chi, which is stored in an energetic zone below the umbilicus called the Dan Tian.

Making sure that Heart and Kidney, Fire and Water are in a state of harmony and equilibrium is of tremendous importance in Oriental medicine. When stress, overwork, anxiety, phobias or other manic states affect us, this balance is upset, and disease begins to set in.

But what if your kidneys have already been damaged on a physical level by toxins or infection? What if you now even require dialysis? How will this affect the health of your heart? Because the kidneys filter the blood of toxins and also re-absorb essential nutrients back into the blood, if these precious organs are damaged, the heart becomes very vulnerable to inflammation or hyper-coagulation (sticky, viscous blood.)

We now know that simply supplementing with L-carnitine can be of great value in protecting persons with kidney disease from developing cardiovascular complications:

A recent study published in the journal Renal Failure (2010;32(9)) investigated the effects of L-carnitine on blood clotting (plasma coagulation and anticoagulation.) The researchers enrolled 36 hemodialysis patients who were randomly given either 1000 mg L-carnitine daily – or a placebo – for 12 weeks. The L-carnitine group experienced significant reductions in two essential markers for heart disease: serum C-reactive protein (which is the primary marker for systemic inflammation) and plasma fibrinogen (an inflammation-related coagulator.) By contrast the placebo group showed little sign of improvement. The authors concluded that,“ L-carnitine may play an effective role in preventing cardiovascular diseases in these patients.”