Peppered cure

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

RESEARCHERS at the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL) in Jammu have sought government approval for a novel anti-TB therapy containing the pepper extract, piperine. The extract is to be used in addition to the standard TB drugs. The molecules of piperine have a unique ability to increase the effectiveness of conventional anti-TB drugs through what scientists call a 'bio availability enhancing effect. This will help doctors in reducing the dosage of the standard drugs. According to RRL scientists, this will make treatment safer, cheaper and more effective.

Scientists at RRL contend that a 220- mg dose of the anti-TB drug rifampicin, given in combination with piperine, has the same biological effect as 450 mg rifampicin alone. The drug was developed serendipitously when RRL scientists were investigating ancient herbal prescriptions. They saw that in many ancient formulations, a blend of drugs called Trikatu appeared. The RRL team found piperine in two of the individual components of the herbal blend.

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