Monday, September 28, 2015

Apple a day won't keep the biochemist at bay

Patents and profits (but not patients) need pure penicillin.

Patients and people never ever need to see life-sustaining vitamins, minerals, nutrients, medicines as 100% pure.

Consider that when we eat a big apple, if we are lucky its 100 grams will yield up 10 mg of pure Vitamin C, but the body will have no problem using that one part in ten thousand out of all the mushed apple and acid inside our stomachs.

Similarly when Dr Vincent Duhig injected penicillium liquids straight into his patients' blood stream, the pure penicillin went straight to work killing their life-threatening infection, untroubled it was only a few parts per million of those penicillium liquids.

But biochemists in the 1940s attempting to determine the structure of a biological molecule had only crude tools and they needed both basically pure biological materials and lots of them for it to be destroyed by their brute force techniques.

One can not describe the moral disaster this caused the whole wartime penicillin situation better than the fact that in the Spring of 1943 Glaxo was the world's biggest producing of penicillin and yet no one drop went into a patient's bloodstream to save their life.

All that wonderful mass of Glaxo penicillin was destroyed by their biochemists trying (but failing) to make fat profits for Glaxo, in the middle of a total war, by synthesizing patentable penicillin.

And that meant the whole lot being destroyed in destructive analysis efforts.

Dawson (unwillingly) and Florey (willingly) had to ride our two horses and divide their raw penicillium juice two ways - at best or worst, that meant one half to the biochemists and one half to the patients.

On record are single destructive analysis experiments of 1.5 million pure units of penicillin - probably extracted (over and over and over, to up its purity) from ten million units (or more) of the raw stuff.

That raw penicillium juice would have saved hundreds of non-SBE type patients by Duhig's methods , and a handful of SBE patients by Dawson's methods.

Patients died by the millions worldwide, needlessly, during the twenty year multi-nation rush to produce patentable, profitable, pure synthetic penicillin - of course I (and Dr Dawson) are still morally outraged.

I'd hope I'd have said, let save lives - now ! - with the crude natural stuff and if and when Big Pharma makes it cheaper, better and easier via patented synthetic methods then I'll switch in a Manhattan Moment, but not until then...

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