Dec 06 2015

2015 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Natural Doctors

Published by at 2:06 pm under General

2015 Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to scientists who looked to nature for their answers.
“…Campbell, Omura and Tu have transformed the treatment of parasitic diseases. The global impact of their discoveries and the resulting benefit to mankind are immeasurable…”1

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize winners in physiology or Medicine looked to nature for the answers. The three scientists are from Ireland, Japan and China and all over the age of 80. Their discoveries have revolutionized therapy and transformed treatment for people afflicted with parasitic diseases around the globe. (1,2)*

Japanese citizen Satoshi Omura is an expert in soil microbes at Kitasato University and. William Campbell is an Irish born parasitologist at Drew University in New Jersey. They shared half of the prize for their discovery of avermectin, a treatment for roundworm parasites. The other half of the prize went to Chinese citizen Youyou Tu, for her discovery of a novel therapy for treating Malaria, a disease which threatens more than 4.5 billion of the world’s most vulnerable population. (1,2)*

Derivatives of avermectin, developed by Omura and Campbell are dramtically reducing cases of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis , which affects more than 100 million people annually and are both caused by parasitic worms. River blindness causes chronic inflammation in the cornea which can result in total loss of vision. Lymphatic filariasis causes chronic swelling which is disabling and disforms its victims with such symptoms as “elephantiasis”, in which the lower part of the body swells. (1,2)*


Parasitic diseases are a major global health problem and predominantly affect the poorest regions of the world and can be a major obstacle to these populations improving their health and well being. “…Together, the scientists have transformed the lives of millions of people in the developing world, where parasitic diseases that cause illness and death are most rife…” (1, 2)*


Satoshi Omura focused on a group of soil borne bacteria called Streptomyces, known for producing antibacterial agents. Omura was able to isolate new strains of this bacteria from soil samples and cultured them successfully in the laboratory. He selected 50 cultures from several thousands to explore if any would combat potential harmful microorganisms. One of these cultures turned out to be Steptomyces avermitilis, the source for Avermectin. (1,2)*

Omura’s Streptomyces cultures were then acquired by William Campbell a scientist specializing in parasite biology who was working in the US. “…Campbell showed that a component from one of the cultures was remarkably efficient against parasites in domestic and farm animals. The bioactive agent was purified and named Avermectin, which was subsequently chemically modified to a more effective compound called Ivermectin…”2 Ivermectin is highly effective against a variety of parasites in both humans and animals, including those that cause river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.(1,2)*

“…Ivermectin is highly effective against a range of parasites, has limited side effects and is freely available across the globe…”1*

Youyou Tu finds novel therapy for treatment of Malaria

Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, has been around since the beginning of time It is caused by single-cell parasites invading red blood cells and causes fever, and in severe cases leads to brain damage, even death. More than 450,000 people die each year from malaria, and this deadly disease affects mostly children. Malaria was once treated with chloroquine or quinine, but in the 1960s, efforts to eradicate it failed and public health officials began to see a rise in Malaria cases. (1,2)*

Youyou Tu was born in 1930 in China and has been Chief Professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2000. She explored traditional Chinese herbal medicine and consulted ancient Chinese literature to uncover her answers for treating malaria. She extracted the active component from the plant Artemisia annua, with inconsistencies in her findings. After researching ancient Chinese literature, she discovered the answers she needed which led her to “…extract the active component from Artemisia annua. Tu was the first to show that this component, later called Artemisinin, was highly effective against the Malaria parasiste, both in infected animals and in humans. Artemisinin has proven effective against the Malaria parasite in infected animals and humans. It rapidly kills the Malaria parasites early in their development, and is effective even in extreme cases…”1*

Omura, Campbell and Tu have made a historical, life changing difference in our world. (And, did I mention they are all over 80 years old? What an inspiration!) “…These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually. The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable…”1*

These two amazing discoveries shed light on a continuing trend in which many of the new drugs being introduced to the US are derived from natural products and the soil itself. Looking to nature for answers to our health issues will most certainly continue, as we know at Body Biotics that soil based probiotics are the source for so many important bacteria and holds the keys to many health benefits.*

Healthiest wishes,






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