What Are the Potential Benefits of Klotho Protein?

Scientists are investigating a potential new therapy using a protein called klotho for its application in treating a wide range of conditions. Klotho protein is a naturally occurring protein that has been proven to affect numerous bodily processes associated with our health and, more specifically, our age-related health.
Image source: By SandsteinOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Studies have shown that lower than average levels of klotho protein in mice resulted in symptoms of aging, while mice with higher than average levels of klotho protein experienced a roughly 20 to 30 percent longer lifespan.

Researchers are now exploring whether klotho protein treatment can become an option for humans. By supplementing klotho protein to increase circulating levels of the substance in the body, scientists hope to provide numerous benefits to individuals around the world. This article outlines a few of the potential benefits of klotho protein therapy.

Improved Cognition and Decreased Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease

Scientists believe that klotho therapy may be able to contribute to the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that individuals with these neurodegenerative disorders have lower levels of klotho protein.1 Meanwhile, in studies observing mice, scientists have noted that even in younger mice, increased klotho protein led to improved cognition.2

Enhanced Exercise Performance

Starting from the age of 20 years old, we begin to consistently lose muscle mass. In fact, by the time we reach 80 years old, it’s possible for us to have lost up to 30 percent of our total muscle mass. Klotho protein increases the secretion of growth hormone, which is vital for the growth and regeneration of muscle.3

Prevention of Age-Related Disease

For many chronic health conditions, like arthritis, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease, advanced age is a significant risk factor. Furthermore, multiple studies have shown that individuals with lower levels of klotho protein are at a higher risk of developing chronic disease. However, as scientists continue to explore the role of klotho protein in the development of age-related disease, they are coming across some promising results that show how klotho protein can prevent or slow the progression of age-related conditions. For example, one study observed klotho levels in individuals with kidney disease over the course of 10 years. Higher levels of klotho protein among participants was associated with a lower risk of the progression of chronic kidney disease and kidney malfunction.4

Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

Cancer affects more than 500,000 people in the US each year, and it is the focus of numerous research initiatives around the world.5 In fact, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) dedicates the largest proportion of its funding toward cancer research.6 One study has shown a clear correlation between the ability of klotho protein to inhibit or slow the growth of breast cancer cells.7 In addition, studies have also shown a correlation between lower klotho levels in individuals diagnosed with liver cancer and decreased survival rate.8

Research Continues

Although scientists have found some pretty outstanding results in their trials with mice, more research is needed before klotho therapy is available for human treatment. Currently, researchers and companies like Klotho Therapeutics are working towards making this a possibility.

  1. Semba RD, Moghekar AR, Hu J, Sun K, Turner R, Ferrucci L, O’Brien R. Klotho in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Adults With and Without Alzheimer’s Disease. Neuroscience Letters. 2014 Jan 13;558:37-40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24211693.
  2. Dubal DB, Yokoyama JS, Zhu L, Broestl L, Worden K, Wang D, Sturm VE, Kim D, Klein E, Yu GQ, Ho K, Eilertson KE, Yu L, Kuro-o M, De Jager PL, Coppola G, Small GW, Bennett DA, Kramer JH, Abraham CR, Miller BL, Mucke L1. Life Extension Factor Klotho Enhances Cognition. Cell Rep. 2014 May 22;7(4):1065-76.
  3. Rubinek T, Modan-Moses D. Klotho and the Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Axis: Novel Insights into Complex Interactions. Vitam Horm. 2016;101:85-118.
  4. Drew D, Katz R, Kritchevsky R, Ix J, Shlipak M, Gutiérrez O, Newman A, Hoofnagle A, Fried L, Semba R, Sarnak M. Association between Soluble Klotho and Change in Kidney Function: The Health Aging and Body Composition Study. http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/28/6/1859.
  5. Statistics for Different Kinds of Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/types.htm. Publication date unavailable. Updated June 26, 2017. Accessed May 09, 2018.
  6. Top 15 NIH-Funded Disease Areas. Fierce BioTech. https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/top-15-nih-funded-disease-areas. Published July 22, 2014. Accessed May 09, 2018.
  7. Ligumsky H, Rubinek T, Merenbakh-Lamin K, Yeheskel A, Sertchook R, Shahmoon S, Aviel-Ronen S, Wolf I. Tumor Suppressor Activity of Klotho in Breast Cancer Is Revealed by Structure-Function Analysis. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Oct;13(10):1398-407.
  8. Tang X, Wang Y, Fan Z, Ji G, Wang M, Lin J, Huang S, and Meltzer S. Klotho: A Tumor Suppressor and Modulator of the Wnt/β-catenin Pathway in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Lab Invest. 2016 Feb; 96(2): 197–205.

SOURCES:

https://www.klotho.com/klotho-protein/

https://mybiohack.com/blog/longevity-intelligence-klotho-genetics-fat-vitamin

https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/do-you-have-this-intelligencelongevity-protein-all-about-klotho-and-how-to-increase-it-rs9536314/

http://koraplatform.com/what-is-klotho-therapy.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110841/

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2018/01/409711/could-protein-called-klotho-block-dementia-and-aging

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/possible-anti-aging-brain-therapy-shows-promise-in-mice/

http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/gh.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110841/

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/top-15-nih-funded-disease-areas

http://www.medicineinanswers.com/klotho-protein-relates-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/

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