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A "vaccine" against malaria from Africa: ARTAVOL®.

December 5, 2012 - 17:33 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The guest blog below was provided by Dr. Pierre Lutgen.
 
Since 5 years a group of scientists at the Ministry of Health of Uganda is working on plant extracts which might have a prophylactic effect against malaria. Since 12 months a product is available in the pharmacies of Uganda. The product has been released after clinical and community trials over 3 years which have demonstrated that if taken regularly during one year it renders a person immune against malaria. It also reduced the asymptomatic malaria cases in an adult population by 60%.

The product called ARTAVOL® is composed of ground kernels of avocado, extracts of lemon grass and extracts of  dried artemisia herb which does not contain artemisinin. Major ingredients are coumarins, sterols and triterpenes, flavonoids, lemonol and citral derivatives. It is sold in tins of 100 gr and has the appearance of Nescafé granules. ARTAVOL® consumed as a beverage or as functional food helps in prevention of malaria, frequent fevers, worm infestation and also provides the body with antioxidants. It tastes best in milk but can also be added to porridge, hot water or food.
 
In malaria prevention, effective protection is cumulative and becomes fully manifest from 8th week of consumption although this can be achieved faster if taken every day. The worm killing effects occur within 24 hours and antioxidant effects are cumulative. Studies in laboratory rats and humans indicated the product works by blocking parasite multiplication in the body and stimulating white blood cells especially monocytes and lymphocytes. Monocytes then remove young malaria parasites from the blood before they mature to cause disease. 
 
Test in mice and rats showed no side effects even at doses greater than 5000 mg/kg body weight. Study participants who consumed ARTAVOL® every week for 12 months showed no side effects or toxicity. ARTAVOL® safety in pregnancy has not been studied in humans; however studies in pregnant laboratory rats showed no teratogenic effects. 
 
The product should be used for malaria prevention only, not treatment. For treatment use the assistance of a medical doctor or hospital.
ARTAVOL® was developed by scientists at Natural Chemotherapeutical Research Laboratory and Makerere University. The R&D was supported by Government of Uganda, through Uganda National Council for Sciences & Technology. For more details please contact Ogwang Patrick Engeu (pe7321@gmail.com), +256-712-491054, +256-779-617612.
 
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