Chips? Just what the doctor ordered

Tuesday, 21 September, 2021

Chips? Just what the doctor ordered

Fancy a bag of chips that will help with your headache or a baked spud that is used to help treat obesity? A researcher at the University of Queensland is performing a study on the administration of medicines through the use of common vegetables such as potatoes. David Craik, professor at Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, is working with the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation and as part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science to produce vegetables and teas that are able to deliver next-generation medicines. These medicines would be chemically included in plants which would then be eaten as a means of administration. This would result in an easily administered but also a cheaper and easier ways of delivery drugs, especially in parts of the world that modern medicine currently fails to reach.

Potatoes, sunflowers, soybeans and other common household vegetables are being eyed as a vehicle for pain painkillers, anticancer drugs and medicines that help with obesity. The benefits of this method of drug delivery include that it is possible to grow these medicinal plants in a way that is cheap and accessible for areas of the planet that are currently underserved by common but expensive pharmaceutical measures.

Research is continuing to develop the drugs and the vegetables that will be used for this unique method of delivery but commercial applications are already being eyed as a possibility.

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