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Balanced diet could help fight side-effects of quinine

Last Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 16:23

Washington: Adverse side-effects caused by the anti-parasitic drug quinine in the treatment of malaria could be controlled by what we eat, a new study has suggested.

The research by scientists at The University of Nottingham indicates that natural variation in our levels of the amino acid, tryptophan, has a marked bearing on how we respond to quinine treatment.

It appears that the lower our levels of tryptophan the more likely it is that we would suffer side-effects. And because tryptophan is an essential amino acid the body cannot produce it — we get it from the food we eat.

Discovered back in the 1600s, quinine is still used for anti-malaria treatment. However, it is associated with a long list of side effects ranging from sickness and headaches to blindness, deafness and in rare cases death.

The study has been published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.


First Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 10:26
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