GSTM 1 Genetics and Kidney Disease

Broccoli protects some kidneys better than others apparently. Recent research out of the American Society of Nephrology compared the effects of broccoli intake in those with and without the GSTM1 enzyme.

In 2 human cohorts and mice models the GSTM1 – glutathione S transferase M1 – enzyme correlated with increased kidney disease progression. Researchers obviously hope to better understand the factors contributing to this progression so they can alter the disease process.
This research looked at the effects of a broccoli powder extract which included sulforaphane on kidney disease. They had already found benefits in mice from a superoxide dismutase mimetic. The broccoli extract only benefited mice in which the GSTM1 enzyme was missing due to gene deletions. When they looked at human subjects, they similarly found humans showed slower kidney progression only if they were missing the GSTM1 enzyme.

As they prepared for further study, they presented their research data as supporting the GSTM1 enzyme’s role in modulating oxidative stress and inflammation in kidney disease.

In functional medicine, especially those of us who evaluate genetics changes in GSTM1 and other SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), this is no surprise, but encouraging all the same. We work to optimize patients’ endogenous systems for handling oxidative stress and inflammation on a daily basis. We encourage diets low in inflammatory triggers, but high in antioxidants. We do this for all patients, but especially for those who have genetic susceptibilities like GSTM1 deletions.

We use all the tools available to help patients live healthier more abundant lives.

Original Article:
Joseph C. Gigliotti, Adrienne Tin, Shirin Pourafshar, Sylvia Cechova, Yves T. Wang, Sun-sang J. Sung, Gabor Bodonyi-Kovacs, Janet V. Cross, Guang Yang, Nhu Nguyen, Fang Chan, Casey Rebholz, Bing Yu, Megan L. Grove, Morgan E. Grams, Anna Köttgen, Robert Scharpf, Phillip Ruiz, Eric Boerwinkle, Josef Coresh, Thu H. Le. GSTM1 Deletion Exaggerates Kidney Injury in Experimental Mouse Models and Confers the Protective Effect of Cruciferous Vegetables in Mice and Humans. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2019; ASN.2019050449 DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2019050449

Thanks to Science Daily:
American Society of Nephrology. “Genetics may determine who benefits from broccoli’s effects on kidney health.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191114180027.htm>.


Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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