Seaweed Extract in Pill Form to Provide Relief to Arthritis Patients
By Shalet Jimmy | Published: 23rd June 2014 08:31 AM |
KOCHI: It’s no secret that seaweeds offer an array of therapeutic possibilities, taken internally or applied externally. Now these magic weeds have again proved their worth by effectively fighting arthritis.
Scientists at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), which comes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), have developed a cost-effective nutraceutical product called ‘Green Algal Extract’ (GAE) for arthritic patients.
The institute claims it to be one of the best substitute to anti-inflammatory drugs, which are usually prescribed for arthritis, as it has no undesirable side-effects.
Synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs like paracetamol are usually prescribed for arthritis. But if used for a prolonged period, it could result in grave side-effects. But this product will not have serious repercussions, said K K Vijayan, principal scientist and head of marine biotechnology division, CMFRI. GAE is made from the extract of anti-inflammatory ingredients from seaweeds. Since seaweed farming is not that rampant in the state, the required constituents are obtained from the east coast area of the country.
“Places like Mandapam and Rameswaram where its industry thrives have contributed immensely to provide the needed ingredients,” Vijayan said. The product is marketed in tablet form. One tablet will contain 500 mg and has to be taken for three months to get the desired result. Exhorting its success, the technology of the product has already been transferred to a Hyderabad-based company. “Soon the product will be in the market at a competitive price,” the official said. The idea to develop a vegetarian product struck when the CMFRI’s another nutraceutical product ‘Cadalmine GMe’ became an instant hit. It is made by extracting anti-inflammatory ingredients from mussels.
But prior to it, there was already a mussels-based product called ‘Seatone’, manufactured by a New Zealand-based company circulating in the market.
“But the price was huge. One tablet costs around `30. Hence we thought of producing a similar product especially because North Kerala thrives in mussel farming,” he said.
The product proved to be much more effective than ‘Seatone’. “Since it became a hit, requests poured in for a vegetarian product. Eventually our research led us to seaweeds,” he said.