Hydroxycitrate, a natural fruit extract, was found to be capable of dissolving kidney stones.
The finding, published in Nature, came as a result of computational, experimental and human studies.
Hydroxycitrate, abbreviated as HCA, is found in the Asian garcinia cambogia fruit, according to The Spectator.
In a trial participated by seven human subjects, researchers from the University of Houston figured HCA is excreted in the urine — a requirement to make treatment possible.
The extract specifically dissolved calcium oxalate crystals, known to be the most common type of kidney stone. The finding is expected as the first advance in the treatment of such stones in 30 years.
Despite further questions, Jeffrey Rimer, lead author of the study, was hopeful:
“Our initial findings are very promising. If it works in vivo, similar to our trials in the laboratory, HCA has the potential to reduce the incidence rate of people with chronic kidney stone disease.”
Patients at risk of developing kidney stones are often prescribed to take potassium citrate, slowing crystal growth, The Asian Age noted. However, some cannot tolerate its side effects, which include bloody stools, confusion, extreme thirst, muscle weakness and severe stomach pain, among others.
As per Science Daily, kidney stones affect up to 12% of men and 7% of women. Diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are known contributing factors.