UGM Yogyakarta doctor researches Gotu Kola plants extract as a muscle dysfunction treatment for the elderly

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(fourth from the left) Dr. I Dewa Putu Pramantara Setiabudi, SpPD, K-Ger, successfully researched Gotu kola as treatment for muscle dysfunction. (photo: IO/UGM)

IO, Yogyakarta – The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1989 predicted that Indonesia would have the sixth-largest elderly population by 2020. In 2014, BPS-Statistics Indonesia recorded an elderly population of 20.24 million, or 8.03% of the total population with a life expectancy increased from 67.8 years in 2000-2005 to 73.6 years in 2020-2025.

Unfortunately, the increasing elderly population has caused a surge in healthcare costs resulting from the prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases. UGM Yogyakarta Faculty of Public Health Medicine and Nursing (UGM FKKMK) lecturer Dr. I Dewa Putu Pramantara Setiabudi, SpPD, K-Ger, stated that the aging process was the process of changing from a generally healthy young adult who does not need medical attention to an elderly person marked by a decrease in physiological abilities which cause progressively increasing risk of contracting disease and eventually dying.

The aging process entails a progressive loss of general function, with impaired adaptive capabilities towards stress and an increase in risks related to age. “The impact of the aging process happens to all body tissue and systems with a varied speed and effect within and between individuals,” said the doctor in the UGM FKKMK Auditorium, Monday (26/11), during an open examination for a doctoral program.

He stated that the process of reduced physiological function happens dramatically and meaningfully in the fatless weightless realm, dominated by the loss of muscle contributing to the loss of mobility and an increase in the risk of falling. Epidemiologically, the reduction in muscle mass is around 1-2% a year and the reduction in muscle strength is approximately 1.5% a year after the age of 50, accelerating to 3% after the age of 60.

Through his dissertation Development of Gotu Kola Plants (C. asiatica) to Improve Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction Due to the Aging Process in Healthy Elderly Volunteers, the doctor stated that from various searches of alternative medicines from natural sources believed to improve muscle dysfunction, one which was chosen was Gotu kola (C. asiatica). Gotu kola has been traditionally used for various things and a toxicity test of its extract shows low levels.

The research done by Dewa Putu Pramantara concluded that a dosage of 550 mg per day for 12 weeks of Gotu kola extract can clinically increase grip strength, 6-minute walking tests and Timed Up and Go tests (TUG); compared to placebos, however, the findings were statistically insignificant. The capsules with a dosage of 550 mg per day for 12 weeks did not decrease myostatin serum levels.

“The extract capsules did not increase SOD1 serum levels compared to placebos; they also did not increase SOD2 levels or catalase serum levels compared to placebos,” he said.

He stated that the Gotu kola extract had the potential to improve muscle dysfunction resulting from the aging process which meant it was useful to consume routinely for the elderly. However, according to him, Gotu kola extract made to a specific standard is needed, specifically with 0.6% Asiatic acid content. (UGM Public Relations)