Saturday February 22, 2020

Soups Can Help You Fight Malaria: Study

Consuming home-made soups can save you from malaria, suggests a new study

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Soups fight malaria
Consuming soups can save you from malaria. Pixabay

“Malaria kills more than 400,000 people per year and infects more than 200 million, yet resistance to our frontline drugs continues to emerge,” said study lead researcher Jake Baum, Professor at Imperial College London, in UK.

“We may have to look beyond the chemistry shelf for new drugs, and natural remedies shouldn’t be off our watch list,” Baum added.

For the study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, researchers from Imperial College London with school children test their family soup broths for activity against the malaria parasite.

Several of the soup broths, collected from traditional family recipes that originated around the world, showed activity against the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, either by curbing its growth or preventing it from maturing.

The soup recipes had been passed down through the generations for the treatment of fever.

Five of the broths were able to curb growth of the parasite in its disease-causing stage by more than 50 percent.

In two of these, the inhibitory activity was comparable with that of a leading anti-malarial drug, dihydroartemisinin.

Four other broths were more than 50 percent effective at blocking the ability of the parasites to mature to a form that infects mosquitoes, potentially blocking the process of transmission.

Malaria
Prevent malaria with healthy soups. Pixabay

Dihydroarteminisin contains artemisinin, which was isolated from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

According to the researchers, the study was carried out by students at Eden Primary School in North London.

The pupils brought in samples of homemade clear soup broths from family recipes from across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Filtered extracts of the broths were then tested against two stages of the parasite: when it can infect mosquitoes, and when it can cause the disease in humans.

The recipes for each of the broths varied.

They were vegetarian, chicken, or beef based, with no particular ingredient common to those with the strongest anti-malarial activity.

The active ingredients in the broths studied are yet to be identified and tested, the study said.

To move forwards, the active ingredients would need to be isolated, before tests of toxicology and effectiveness, first in human cells and later preclinical trials.

Also Read- Here’s Why Too Much Ultra-Processed Food Can Deteriorate your Heart Health

The researchers behind the study hope that they may discover new anti-malarial compounds in a similar way from the work looking at soup.

“It’s really interesting to find potential routes for future drug development in something like your grandmother’s soup,” Baum added. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Too Short, Long Sleep Can Lead To Incurable Lung Disease

The researchers then showed, that pulmonary fibrosis is associated with short and long sleep duration using human data from the UK Biobank

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Sleep
Our internal body clocks regulate nearly every cell in the human body, driving 24-hour cycles in many processes such as sleeping, hormone secretion and metabolism. Pixabay

People who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than four hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for seven hours in a day, researchers have found.

They attribute this association to the body clock.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also reveals that targeting the body clock reduces fibrosis in vitro, revealing a potential target for this incurable disease that kills about 5,000 people, a year in the UK,the same number as leukaemia.

“Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating condition which is incurable at present. Therefore, the discovery that the body clock is potentially a key player potentially opens new ways to treat or prevent the condition,” said study lead author John Blaikley from The University of Manchester in UK.

“More work need to be done around studying the association between pulmonary fibrosis and sleep duration to establish both causation and reproducibility,” Blaikley said. “If these results are confirmed, then sleeping for the optimal time may reduce the impact of this devastating disease,” he added.

Our internal body clocks regulate nearly every cell in the human body, driving 24-hour cycles in many processes such as sleeping, hormone secretion and metabolism. In the lungs, the clock is mainly located in the main air carrying passages – the airways.

However, the team discovered that in people with lung fibrosis, these clock oscillations extend out to the small air spaces, called alveoli. Studies in mice revealed that by altering the clock mechanism it was possible to disrupt the fibrotic process making the animals more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis.

The researchers then showed, that pulmonary fibrosis is associated with short and long sleep duration using human data from the UK Biobank.

The link between sleep duration and lung fibrosis is similar in strength to other known risk factors for this disease. People who report they regularly sleep four hours or less in a day doubled their chance of having pulmonary fibrosis while those sleeping 11 hours or longer in a day tripled their chance of having the disease, compared to those sleeping seven hours per day.

Lungs
People who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than four hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for seven hours in a day, researchers have found. Pixabay

Smaller, but still elevated, risks were also seen in people who like to stay up late at night or those who do shift work. The researchers explain their findings by the discovery that a core clock protein (REVERBa) which alters the production of a key protein in lung fibrosis (collagen). This is an exciting finding, because chemical compounds can alter the function of REVERBa, said the researchers.

The researchers were able to show that one of these REVERBa compounds can reduce collagen in lung slices from people with this disease.

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The discovery that the clock plays a role in fibrosis suggests that altering these oscillations could become an important therapeutic approach, the research said. (IANS)