Fruits increasingly prove to be instrumental in curing diseases. Not only in your diet, but also in your medicines.
Gabiroba and cagaita. Have you ever heard about? Although unknown to large parts of Brazil and the world, these fruits of the Brazilian savannah, are vitamin C source when consumed in natura and basis of a new herbal medicine against rotavirus. The study from “Ezequiel Dias” Foundation estimates that the medicine will be affordable to be distributed by public health system in the country. The technology does not pose risk to environment, the plants will be grown using micropropagation techniques, which allows rapid reproduction.
Disease transmission occurs when the virus contained in the stool of the patient comes into contact with food or water, contaminating who eats these foods. To prevent the spread of this and other foodborne diseases, it is essential to handwash before meals, when handling food and after using the toilet. The virus causes diarrhoea, vomiting and fever and is one of the biggest causes of infant death in the world. For children of up to six months for vaccine at SUS, but this new herbal medicines for everyone by reducing the viral load in the patient and fighting the symptoms of the disease more quickly.
Another application is the device for leukemia diagnosis. Developed by researchers at University of São Carlos (Brazil), the device contains a sensor that uses jacalina, substance present in the seed of jackfruit. The result is given in 1 hour, while the current method takes up to 3 weeks. The system is similar to that of measurement of blood glucose in diabetics. With a sample of blood cancer cells are detected. Jacalina has the ability to bind to sugars produced by leukemic cells. If there is interaction between the sample and the nanoparticle fluorescent light, it means that there are cancer cells.
The main advantage is that the system is low cost and is portable, so that can be used in clinics. In the future the system may be used to identify more types of cancer and might be able to go to the market in two years.
I wish these and other innovations made from fruits may soon improve the lives of those who need it most.