Full Length Research Paper
The influence of aqueous extract of millet on the crystallization and the dissolution of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals were investigated in detail under supersaturated and artificial urinary circumstances in order to understand the effect of the water-soluble components of millet on CaOx kidney stones in humans. To investigate the inhibition effect, different volumes of millet extract were added separately to the combined supersaturated and artificial urinary solutions while the crystal deposition process was monitored by UV-Vis and conductivity measurements. The harvested crystals were characterized by FT-IR, SEM, TGA, XRD and redox titrations so as to determine the structure and the morphology of CaOx crystals formed. Our findings indicate that the crystals obtained from inhibition and dissolution experiments were mainly calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM), the thermodynamically more stable phase. Furthermore, the results show that the millet extract has a promising inhibition effect in the supersaturated solution and in artificial urinary circumstances showing ~34 and ~26% decrease in crystal deposition, respectively, with 50 mL of millet extract compared to control experiments. The dissolution effect of millet extract is far superior to that of the inhibition effect. One gram of COM crystals completely disappeared when the crystals were washed ten times with 300 mL millet extracts. Under the same conditions, the control experiment showed only ~44% dissolution of COM crystals. Further investigations conducted with actual kidney stones under artificial urinary circumstances showed approximately 20% dissolution when washings were carried out using 300-mL portions of millet over one week. This novel finding may shed the light on the possible use of millet as a potential natural antiurolithic remedy to treat CaOx kidney stones in humans.
Key words: Calcium oxalate, kidney stones, millet, inhibition, dissolution effect.
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