The journal article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730275/
From the article:
Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS), a natural polymer derived from chitosan, exerts several biological activities including anti-inflammation, anti-tumor, anti-metabolic syndrome, and drug delivery enhancer. Since COS is vastly distributed to kidney and eliminated in urine, it may have a potential advantage as the therapeutics of kidney diseases. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a common genetic disorder characterized by multiple fluid-filled cysts, replacing normal renal parenchyma and leading to impaired renal function and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The effective treatment for PKD still needs to be further elucidated. Interestingly, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been proposed as a drug target for PKD. This study aimed to investigate the effect of COS on renal cyst enlargement and its underlying mechanisms. We found that COS at the concentrations of 50 and 100 µg/mL decreased renal cyst growth without cytotoxicity, as measured by MTT assay. Immunoblotting analysis showed that COS at 100 µg/mL activated AMPK, and this effect was abolished by STO-609, a calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase beta (CaMKKβ) inhibitor. Moreover, COS elevated the level of intracellular calcium. These results suggest that COS inhibits cyst progression by activation of AMPK via CaMKKβ. Therefore, COS may hold the potential for pharmaceutical application in PKD.
Our vet found, from her research, that Chitosan Oligosaccharide may be able to help slow down cystic growth in PKD cats. I asked four local pharmacies and they don’t carry the product, but my kind pharmacist found one from iherb.com.
Images are from https://nutricology.com/microchitosan-60-vegetarian-capsules
One capsule contains 600mg of Chitosan Oligosaccharide and Chitosan.
There is another paper that did a study on the use of Chitosan for phosphate binding: Poster Chitosan CAT SEVC 2015
This study recommends 865mg/kg of Chitosan for the purpose of phosphate binding. That’s quite a lot!
Renal-P also contains chitosan: https://www.candioli.com/en/products/pets/nephro-urology/renal-p
Since Tabs is already taking Renal-P (her dosage contains only 80mg of Chitosan per day), some calculations are needed here! We just start with 1 capsule of Nutricology MicroChitosan and at most increase it to 2 capsules per day. Subject to further calculations and considerations.
Also, Chitosan dosing can lead to hypercalcemia (excretion of calcium into the urine which may cause kidney stones).
So many considerations!
Disclaimer: This is purely a sharing and does not serve as any professional advice even if your cat has a similar disease. Kindly consult your veterinarian for advice for your pet. Please remember that every pet is different and treatment should be designed and personalised for your pet.