Daily Mail, November 12, 2002 (extracts)
When keen athlete Stephen Kershaw was laid low by a bad bout of asthma he sought help from a treatment using the Chinese silkworm. Scientists have recently discovered that the tiny creature produces a unique enzyme, which has anti-inflammatory action. “I was wheezing a lot, producing a lot of phlegm and having difficulty breathing. It lasted 4 months and I just wasn’t able to get well. I was in a difficult position because I needed to go back on the oral steroids to improve my asthma but doing that would affect my diabetes.”
Newcastle GP Dr. Kamal Anand offers alternative treatments as well as traditional. Dr. Anand suggested a remedy involving taking a capsule containing the silkworm enzyme.
After a week Stephen’s condition had improved enough for him to put off going back on steroids.
The enzyme Serrapeptase is made by bacteria that live in the gut of the silkworm and is secreted in its saliva. It has anti-inflammatory qualities that have been used in the treatment of arthritis.
Serrapeptase eats away at the cocoon of the silkworm and eventually allows it to fly away as a butterfly. According to scientists the enzyme, which has only recently been isolated, attacks dead tissue, eating it up and also blocks chemicals that produce inflammatory responses.
Besides feeling better Stephen’s lung capacity had improved. Dr. Anand had measured what is known as the peak flow reading. In a healthy teenager a score of 600 would be expected.
Before becoming ill Stephen’s peak flow had topped 450 but had dropped to 380. “He was finding breathing quite an effort when he came to see me,” says Dr. Anand.
“But there was significant improvement in his peak flow, which went back to over 400 within a short time. The enzyme in the Serrapeptase capsule has reduced the inflammation and has also eaten away at the phlegm, which was obstructing his breathing.”