ENTERTAINMENT

Do Cod Hold The Key To Curing Common Colds?

The search for a cure to the common cold came a step closer last Sunday – thanks to the common cod. A unique enzyme found in the Arctic species of
22 Sep 2014 07:54
Do Cod Hold The Key To Curing Common Colds?
Fijian 7s squad members, Taniela Sadrugu, Livai Ikanikoda and Jiuta Wainiqolo lead training in Australia. Photo: Oceania Rugby

The search for a cure to the common cold came a step closer last Sunday – thanks to the common cod.

A unique enzyme found in the Arctic species of the fish has the ability to trap the cold virus and stop it in its tracks, scientists claim.

They have now adapted the enzyme, called trypsin, into a mouth spray that reduced the spread of the virus in clinical trials by 99 per cent – effectively curing it.

The spray works by forming an invisible barrier in the mouth and throat, which stops the virus being taken up by human cells and multiplying.

The trials showed that the spray – made by Enzymatica – also halved the average number of days those who caught a cold had symptoms from 6.5 to three days.

Dr Mats Clarsund, head of research and development at Enzymatica, said the remedy had been five years in the making, adding: “It is pretty revolutionary”.

The common cold is a virus which binds to the mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes. It is taken up by human cells and multiplies.

“Once someone is infected, the virus moves to the throat area, where the first symptoms are a sore throat around 20 hours after the virus takes hold.

“The spray works because the enzyme forms a temporary, invisible barrier on the membranes preventing the virus being taken up.

“The enzyme doesn’t kill the virus, it effectively disarms it because it stops it being taken up with human cells, so the cold and its symptoms can’t progress.”

Trypsin, which is found in the pancreas of deep-sea cod, becomes more efficient at body temperature, making it very effective at stopping the virus when it comes into contact with skin or other tissue.

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