Seaweed against cystic fibrosis

It was recently reported, in this article on the Daily Mail, that a form of Norwegian Seaweed could be the key ingredient in new treatments for cystic fibrosis, that could see the average life expectancy of a sufferer increase from 40 years. At this point in time further research is required to prove the experiment positive, but initial tests indicate that that the alginate, found in certain seaweeds, ‘helps to break down the mucus that characterizes cystic fibrosis (CF),’ which ‘if left untreated ‘leads to problems with digestion and makes the lungs prone to severe bacterial infections – which is ultimately what kills most patients.’

Summary

  • If the test prove positive, the new drugs could be available in the next three years.
  • It could mean that treatments for CF will become less dependent on anti-biotics.
  • There is hope that the drug will work for a much larger group of CF sufferers than recent drugs that have been developed.
  • It is currently unclear how expensive the drug will be.

There are over 10,000 people in the UK alone that are currently suffering from cystic fibrosis who are crying out for new medicine. Ed Owen, chief executive of UK charity Cystic Fibrosis Trust, says ‘this discovery promises hope to the thousands of families desperate for an effective treatment for CF,’