17 February 2006

German scientists: Eat the rest of the sunflower to treat AIDS

While sunflower seeds and sunflower oil have various healthful properties, the rest of the plant has anti-fungal properties that may help fight AIDS. Sunflowers and various other plants get infected with white mold (sclerotinia) that kills entire crops. These plants have evolved some anti-fungal chemicals which have been used to fight AIDS, but this is the first time it's been detected in sunflowers - I guess no one thought to test them for it previously. Now that we know though, after chopping off the heads for seeds, pharmaceutical companies can theoretically process the rest into the AIDS drug for a lower cost than other sources. And lower cost means more accessibility for patients. Yay!

Interestingly, the article never mentions the actual chemical, nor the commercial name of the AIDS drug.

No comments: