The prevalence of chronic kidney failure (CKF) in Indonesia is quite alarming. According to the Ministry of Health, CKF patients increased from 0.2 percent of the population in 2013 to 0.38 percent in 2018.
CKF can lead to other metabolic problems, such as hyperphosphatemia (increased blood phosphate concentration) and hypertension (increased blood pressure).
A team of students from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) conducted research to find more efficient, cost-effective, and low-side-effect alternative treatments for hyperphosphatemia and hypertension in cases of chronic kidney failure.
They processed shrimp shells containing calcium carbonate compounds into an extract in powdered form, which could be used in treating patients with these conditions.
“Several studies have explored the potential of chitosan in shrimp shells, while the calcium carbonate content is rarely utilized,” said team member Titis Putri Dika Amalia.
“Test results indicate that shrimp shells contain 45-50 percent calcium carbonate. We therefore further explored the utilization of this compound.”
This research is part of the Student Creativity Program in Exact Sciences Research in 2023, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Apart from Titis Amalia, the four students involved in this research are Farhan Dio Sahari and Syifa Aulia Pramudani from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chasna Salsabila Rosydiana from the Faculty of Pharmacy, and Marcellino Maatita from the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing.
The team named Calcicarbo is under the guidance of Dr. Vista Budiariati.
Chronic kidney failure involves structural and functional damage to the kidneys marked by a progressive and irreversible decrease in glomerulus filtration rate. CKF is characterized by kidney tissue damage, including the glomerulus, which functions as a blood filter.
The total number of individuals affected by CKF stages 1-5 worldwide is 843.6 million. Regrettably, the available CKF management currently has many side effects and is not affordable for all segments of society.
The antiphosphate drug and diltiazem agents offered to CKF patients do not entirely reduce CKF progression due to the medications’ side effects and contraindications.
Other procedures, such as hemodialysis, require significant costs and lower the quality of life for CKF patients, posing a substantial burden for low and middle-income populations.
“At present, loop diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and amlodipine are used to manage blood pressure and reduce CKF progression, but these drugs can cause hypoglycemia, hyperuricemia, hyperlipidemia, cough response, and edema,” said Marcellino Maatita.
“Hemodialysis or blood cleansing significantly requires substantial costs and can potentially reduce quality of life.”
To examine the potential of calcium carbonate for hyperphosphatemia and hypertension therapy in CKF cases, the team collected black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) shells from seafood distributors in Bantul and Semarang.
These shrimp shells were calcined into a powdered form. Subsequently, the powdered extract of calcium carbonate from the shrimp shell was tested for its effectiveness on chronic kidney failure-induced rats as a test animal in the laboratory.
Test results indicated that the powder could reduce blood urea, blood creatinine, blood phosphate, and parathyroid hormone levels while increasing blood calcium levels.
Moreover, it did not exhibit toxic properties, making it safe for treating hyperphosphatemia and hypertension in chronic kidney failure.
Considering the high availability of shrimp shells that have yet to be maximally utilized, this research outcome is expected to contribute to effective and economical therapies for people of all segments.
Author: The Calcicarbo Team